Years ago a copywriting friend gave me some business advice.
They basically handed me a complete blueprint which would help me;
- Grow my following
- Increase my reach
- Sell more products
All I had to do was follow their step-by-step advice.
Can you guess what happened?
Despite having a complete guide I took zero action.
I ignored their advice. I told myself I was too busy to follow it and that next week I’d make time.
Next week never came.
By the time I did implement the advice the competition had increased 100X. I’d missed my opportunity for easy sales and I never recovered from it.
While I spent years playing catchup and living off the scraps of the competition, my friend was living the life of Riley.
He built one of the best sites for his niche and was seeing incredible sales.
His site was so popular that, after 4 years, he sold it for a sizeable payout.
I continued to work whilst he used that money to start a passion project and take months off to travel the world.
It’s something I’ve never forgiven myself for.
My own laziness caused me years of extra hard work and pain. If I’d taken the action he’d told me I too could have seen a decent payday and lived a far more comfrotable life.
But it wasn’t a completely wasted experience.
I learned that even if I’m unsure about a new development in marketing I should attack it with everything I have.
And right now, there’s a development which I am 100% positive is going to change the landscape of marketing and ecommerce.
That development is Social Commerce and, thankfully, I’ve been fortunate enough to see exactly what sort of incredible results it can provide for brands of every size.
What is Social Commerce?
Social Commerce is the ability to sell to your customers in the social environment they are already active in.
For example, a person sees a post on Facebook of a product they like. Instead of redirecting that user to your online store, you give them the option to purchase directly within Facebook.
No redirects. No friction. No hassle.
It’s a simpler way of selling and it’s making smart brands millions.
But there’s a problem.
The problem is how this new development is being treated. A lot of advice online is saying Social Commerce isn’t all you think it is.
But if you delve into those articles you’ll notice something. You’ll notice that all of them are speculative.
There’s no proof.
No experimentation pitting Social Commerce against the traditional methods of marketing through social media.
It’s enough to make me think these brands have an agenda because I’ve personally seen what Social Commerce can do for brands.
I’ve seen it achieve a 58% conversion rate for brands like Marvel on their FIRST implementation.
I’ve seen it generate MILLIONS in extra revenue across all ecommerce niches.
And I’ve seen some of the biggest marketing influencers become absolutely astounded at its potential.
Chief among them is the Godfather of social media, Mark Zuckerberg who says;
“Social Commerce is next to blow up”.
Ryan Deiss of Digital Marketer focused much of a keynote speech on the development of chatbots.
He explains how they’re taking over and that the change to chatbot led sales isn’t coming, but is already here.
“Conversation is the new lead”.
Which is great news for social commerce as it’s the most conversation focused and streamlined sales medium out there.
To top this off, Ezra Firestone of SmartMarketer, Zipify Apps, and Boom! had this to say on social commerce;
“By 2018 it is going to be a huge, huge factor for every business, and one-click purchasing on social will take over.”
Everyone from the change makers in the industry to those who are in the trenches day in and day out only see social commerce growing from strength to strength.
Not unlike the profits of those stores who are already investing in social commerce strategies.
“But hold on”, you say, “ a couple of people, no matter how influential, saying social commerce will be big doesn’t mean it will succeed. There’s hundreds of ‘breakthrough developments’ every year that fail”.
I hear you.
So what makes social commerce different?
Well, all you have to do is look into the development of the channel to really understand why this isn’t going to be a flash in the pan development.
How Social Commerce has Developed Over the Years
Social commerce might be taking up headlines across the web right now, but it’s been developed over the last few years.
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram have all (to varying degrees of success) experimented with implementing a social commerce solution.
Some have made it work, others haven’t had that much success.
However, they’ve all invested a tonne of time and money into the concept. So let’s take a look at what it is they’ve tried to implement.
Facebook Social Commerce:
This is the big dog, right?
With over 2.2 billion active monthly users Facebook truly is leading the social media pack.
They’re the guys who are pushing the boundary of development in the social space, and they’re old hands at try9ing to get social commerce to work.
Here’s what they’ve tried in a handy little timeline.
- Feb 2007: Facebook runs a virtual gift test giving the ability to gift items to friends through the network. Problem was, these gifts were limited to being used within Facebook and couldn’t be cashed out.
- May 2007: Facebook marketplace opens allowing the sale of items to those within your friend network.
- July 2009: 1-800-Flowers.com sells their first product through Facebook. Disney and other brands soon follow suit.
- July 2014: The buy button is introduced to Facebook. Brands can now sell to users without them having to leave the platform.
- March 2015: Facebook rolls out payments within Messenger (whilst a huge lead forward, it’s just for splitting bills with friends).
- July 2015: Facebook does what everyone wants and implements the first shoppable page.
This isn’t everything Facebook implemented, but it’s the major developments.
You can see from way back in 2007 they’ve been experimenting with how to implement some form of social commerce on the platform.
Sure, they’ve taken some wrong turns along the way, but it shows that there is a future here and that there’s money to be made.
If the biggest social network in the world is willing to sink so much time and money into this, then there’s definitely a benefit there for the likes of you and I.
Facebook undoubtedly had the most extensive experience in the sector of social commerce, however, they’re not alone in their experimentation.
Instagram Social Commerce:
If you ask me, Instagram is the best platform for social commerce.
Because of how visual it is.
For years ecommerce marketing advice has churned out article after article on things like;
- The need for high-quality product photos
- How video product demos increase desire and sales
- Other methods (like AR) that add a tangible element to an otherwise wholly digital experience
Basically, it’s been focused on giving the user a better understanding of the product in use.
And Instagram is the best social network for exactly this.
Millions of people turn to the platform every single day to look at enticing photos and engaging videos.
If you can put your product front and center of those images and videos, you’ll get massive engagement and, with social commerce, hundreds of sales.
The thing is, social commerce on the network isn’t yet at the level it should be (more on that later). Let’s first look at how Instagram have tried to monetize the platform through social commerce options.
- June 2015: Instagram introduced their Shop Now button. It follows on from Facebook and has pretty much the same functionality.
- November 2016: Product tags make their way to Instagram. These are cool additions that allow users to quickly identify the products included in posts. However, this was initially rolled out to only a select few brands.
- October 2017: Thanks to Shopify and BigCommerce integrations, the ability to sell through Instagram is rolled out to thousands of other merchants.
- March 2018: Shoppable posts are finally here! Those little tags from above can now be clicked to open a new page that allows a purchase.
Instagram has come on leaps and bounds from the days of their first experiment. However, there’s still an issue with a streamlined purchase experience.
Don’t worry, I’ll cover a solution to that in the next section. But before I do, let’s cover the next two social networks who’ve experimented with social commerce.
Twitter Social Commerce
Twitter is a company I’ve never understood.
Until Q4 2017 they’d never turned a profit. Yet they have a billionaire founder, employ a huge number of people, and are the chosen channel of choice for some of the world’s most powerful politicians.
They’ve always been pretty desperate to monetize the platform, and so jumped on the social commerce bandwagon pretty early on.
Here’s how their history I social commerce looks.
- April 2010: Twitter implements sponsored tweets which would later grow into a full ad suite for brands.
- September 2014: Twitter’s buy now button is introduced! This is an easy way to sell directly from your tweets.
- January 2017: Over three years of expanding their buy now button partnerships, Twitter pulls the plug and discontinues the feature.
As I’ve said, I don’t understand Twitter. Their decision to discontinue the one feature users actively seek is one I’ll never understand.
Pinterest Social Commerce
Pinterest is probably the second most promising social commerce network. It’s so similar to Instagram in that it’s a visually led platform allowing you to really highlight your product’s best features.
With the right strategy, you could turn those posts into engagement and then sales. Especially as there’s only around 20% of the content on Pinterest that’s original.
Here’s how they’ve tried to implement social commerce.
- June 2015: Pinterest introduces buyable pins for a select number of brands. This adds a buy button to their pins.
- March 2016: Pinterest increased buyable pin partnerships so more brands could benefit from them.
- June 2016: Pinterest introduced a shopping cart feature to make the social commerce experience feel more in line with what users were used to and allowing them to purchase multiple products from the platform.
So that brings us neatly up to today.
However, you’ll have noticed that there’s no real comprehensive solution for social commerce out there, right?
So why am I sitting here telling you that now is the best time to get started with social commerce?
Why Now is the Best Time to Start Your Social Commerce Strategy
Quite simply, because your users are already using social media in their shopping journeys.
And as each year goes by, more people are relying on social as a major influencer for their purchase decisions.
- 23% of shoppers are influenced by their social media recommendations. Social commerce will help you capitalize on that by turning recommendations into automated checkouts.
- 30% of all online shoppers say they would be likely to make a purchase directly through social media networks.
- 51% of millennials (who will very soon be the largest target market for ecommerce) say they would purchase through social media.
- 76% of users have bought a product they saw on social media – either then and there or at a later date. Making it easier for people to purchase a product directly through social carries huge potential
Consumers across the board are ready, willing, and able to purchase through their social media channels.
However, it’s not just your customer’s interest that makes social commerce such an interesting prospect.
There’s one more key element that makes this strategy the most high-potential marketing opportunity right now.
Very few brands are actively leveraging social commerce in their overall strategy.
Sure, they know it’s important. But they’re not doing anything to implement it within their campaigns.
After surveying 750 marketing decision makers in the US, Magisto uncovered some interesting results.
- 75% of these people were leveraging a third party ecommerce service provider.
- 71% used social media to manage relationships
But there’s a dangerous disconnect.
With 3 out of 4 of them using social media for their ecommerce needs, few were happy at the lack of integration between the two.
- In fact, 72% of them want more direct sales and active marketing options from their ecommerce providers.
But here’s the best fact.
- 48% said that if social media platforms offered direct sales, they’d be more likely to use it for all of their marketing and sales needs INSTEAD of an ecommerce store.
Around half of the biggest marketers in the US are lamenting the lack of direct sales options on social media.
These marketers, who are running huge stores, all see the potential for social commerce.
They all know that marketing on social is one action. An action fundamentally different from selling on a digital store.
These are two actions which take users in different directions.
- Social media gets them to engage and fills an entertainment need.
- Ecommerce sales is focused on pushing the sale.
The current link between the two is weak.
It’s not at all intuitive and adds more friction to the process than is necessary.
And that friction is causing brands to lose millions in sales.
There’s a gap between social media users’ intent, and what brands are giving them.
And with the growing use in social media for shopping, it’s a gap that you could benefit hugely from.
How You Can Jump Into that Gap For Massive Sales Today
So social media users are more engaged with their social networks than ever before.
And there’s a real lack of companies leveraging any kind of comprehensive social commerce solution.
You see, it presents a huge opportunity for you.
But you have to act quickly.
There are some huge brands out there testing the water with social commerce. And the more of these brands that see a great return, the faster others are going to follow suit.
As an example, you need look no further than jumper’s blog.
We’ve already got our case study up explaining how Marvel used social commerce to achieve a 58% conversion rate when promoting two of their recent movies.
And we’re working on another one right now explaining how Ben and Jerry’s sold thousands of product samples within just a few days through a smart social commerce campaign.
Now is the time to get your social commerce strategy underway before that market becomes too saturated and you have to wait around to jump on the next development that could make you millions.
The question is, how can you jump into the massive gap brands like Marvel and Ben and Jerry’s are already filling?
What can you do today to increase your sales by the end of this week?
Well, I’ll tell you.
All you need is a free jumper account to get this underway.
Start Adding $$$ to Your Bottom Line Today
If you’ve not already, you’ll need to sign up for a free jumper account to jump into the gap everyone else is ignoring.
To get the most out of jumper, you’ll also need at least one of the below;
- A Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest business page
- Youtube Account
- Twitter presence
You’ll also need a product to sell, but that could take the form of anything really, including;
- Physical goods
- Information products
- Tickets to events
If you’ve got everything you need, then head over to the below page and sign up for a free jumper account.
Once you’ve signed up, simply follow the setup instructions that will greet you on the main dashboard page.
You’ll need to make sure that you take – at the very least – the basic actions of setting up your business which are adding your bank details (so you can receive payments), and adding your products and social networks.
You want green ticks all the way down the left-hand side.
But what are the next steps?
How can you turn your jumper account and social networks into cash in your bank?
Well, let me run you through the process twice. Once with a native integration on Facebook, and another with our share anywhere links on Instagram.
How to Set Up Facebook Social Commerce Campaigns
In the jumper dashboard drop down select sales channels > Facebook to see the below.
Once there, you’re going to want to click on the big connect button on the right.
If you’re logged into Facebook on the browser, it’ll automatically connect you. If not, you’ll just need to sign in.
After 2-5 seconds your Facebook account will be linked. You now need to connect it to the right page.
If, like me, you’re the admin on many different pages you’ll get the full run down within jumper. Just pick the correct one and again, click connect.
For this I’m using a test account I have called Chef’s Edge.
When you’ve connected the page you’ll see the below confirmation page.
So the page is now connected.
All you now need to do is add your product. Make sure to use a high quality image and spend some time filling out the size and variant options.
Once that’s done, head to the share as post menu header and you’ll see all your product hashtags listed.
Find the one you want to share, amend the copy to be relevant for this promo, and click the share button.
Within seconds, the page you linked will have a post that looks like the below. Of course I just left the default text in there.
Comments with the hashtag you outline will kick off the checkout procedure that looks something like the below.
Here’s the desktop message that came through seconds after commenting.
And here’s how it looks on Messenger.
And it really is as easy as that. You can share it as many times as you want, but we’d recommend amending the copy that accompanies your post each time to see what works.
For any of the native integrations which include Facebook, Chatbox, Youtube, and Line, the process is the same. However, it’s slightly different for Instagram.
How to Sell Through Instagram
So you’ll follow the same steps in setting up your product, but when you get too the sales channels > Instagram page you’ll notice it’s very different.
The first page is simply instructions on what’s needed, but if you’ve set everything up you can move on to the new option in the menu – sharing links.
On this page you’ll see a list of the products you’ve added.
You’ll also notice a new column which reads “share this link”. This is a “share anywhere” link. You can drop it in your Instagram stories, bio, on a blog post, or anywhere you want.
When a user clicks that link it starts the automated checkout wherever they are. Here’s how it looks.
The user can continue the checkout on this page, or they can send their details through Messenger.
If they’ve shopped with you before, their details will be saved making the checkout process much simpler.
Once they’ve chosen how to check out, the automated checkout chatbot takes over and leads them through the process.
Simple as that.
Social Commerce is the New Normal and Will Soon be King of Sales Channels
More of your customers want social commerce solutions.
They want an increasingly easy way to check out and buy the products they see in their social networks.
You can continue to make that journey difficult by adding numerous extra steps of product pages, add to cart actions, cart confirmation, checkout pages, and checkout processes, OR, you can give them what they want.
You can simplify the process into a two-step sales funnel.
One which follows the interest of seeing the product they want with an immediate checkout.
If you think that simplifying the purchase process could help you sell more, be sure to sign up for a free jumper account today.
You can see from the above that you could have your social commerce campaign up and running within the hour and making sales before the end of the day.
Now is the time to jump on this. Your store needs a social commerce strategy to continue to grow. Don’t miss this opportunity.