In the early days of the internet, social media was primarily used as a way for people to connect with friends and family. But as social media platforms have grown and evolved, so has the way that people use them. These days, social media is increasingly being used as a tool for businesses, large and small, to reach their customers and promote their products and services. And with the rise of mobile devices, businesses are able to reach an even wider audience through social media.
This is what is known as social commerce, and it is rapidly growing in popularity all over the world.
In fact, according to a recent article from Insider Intelligence, social commerce on a global scale is expected to grow thrice as fast as traditional eCommerce, from 492 billion USD in 2021 to 1.2 trillion USD by 2025. That's a lot of potential business!
If you're a business owner – whether it's an online store, a brick and mortar mom and pop shop, a franchise, or a multinational company – social commerce is here to stay. To survive in a competitive and global marketplace, it’s go digital or bust.
Read on to discover how your business can navigate the online sphere with these five effective strategies.
But First, What is Social Commerce?
Simply put, social commerce is the use of social media platforms to facilitate transactions.
This can include anything from downloading an e-book via sign-up form, to purchasing a product through a social media platform such as Facebook, Instagram, Youtube,Viber, or Tiktok.
Why is Social Commerce Effective?
Primarily, platforms like these have made it easier than ever for businesses to reach their customers where they are already spending a lot of time. And as a business, it is a must that you be where your customers are – and right now, at this very moment – they are online!
In fact, according to Statista, the average person in the Philippines spends a little over 10 hours online and 4 hours on social media every day.
And with nearly 85 million Filipinos online in 2022, can you imagine the number of customers that businesses are missing out on if they're not using social media to reach them?
Not only that, but social media platforms also provide businesses with valuable data about their customers. This data can be used to create targeted marketing campaigns and better understand what customers are looking for.
Social media platforms are also a great way to build relationships with customers. These days, people want to do business with companies that they feel a connection to, and what better way to connect with your customers than through social media?
By using social media, businesses can create a more personal relationship with their customers and build loyalty and trust.
At its core, social commerce provides businesses with an opportunity to reach a wider audience. With the click of a button, businesses can reach people all over the world with their products and services.
Social commerce has come a long way since its humble beginnings on platforms like AOL and Yahoo! in the 1990s. In the early days of social media, businesses saw the potential of these new platforms for promoting their products and services to a wider audience. However, it was only in the past few years that social commerce has truly taken off, with platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Youtube, Tiktok, and also Pinterest, becoming key players in the e-commerce space.
Social Commerce in the Philippines
In the Philippines, to say social media is huge is an understatement.
The country has the highest number of social media users in the world, with Datereportal.com’s “Digital 2022” report tallying a total of 92.05 million Filipinos on some form of social media platform. This just shows that there is a huge potential market for businesses that are looking to tap into social commerce.
So, if you're an online business owner in the Philippines, there's no place that is better positioned to take advantage of this expanding trend. After all, the Philippines is often referred to as the “Social Media Capital of the World.”
Here are some stats that show just the growth of social commerce is in the Philippines:
- The local social commerce industry is projected to grow by 30.4 percent in 2022 at an estimated gross value of 682 million USD.
- 62.5 percent of Filipinos, or 43 million people, have shopped for something online.
- 64 percent of Filipino consumers prefer to use an online wallet for their mode of payment.
As you can see, social commerce is a big deal in the Philippines, and it's only going to get bigger. If you're not already taking advantage of this trend, now is the time to start. But if you have no idea where to begin, reaching out to a social media marketing agency can help. Working with a professional agency gives your business access to experts with years of experience.
5 Social Commerce Trends Your Business Needs to Leverage
So, what are some of the top trends in social commerce that businesses in the Philippines should be aware of? Here are five of the most important ones:
1. Influencer Marketing
As social media platforms have become more popular, influencer marketing has emerged as a powerful force in promoting products and services.
An influencer is someone with a large following on social media who can help to promote your business to their followers.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many traditional forms of marketing have been disrupted. As a result, influencer marketing has become an increasingly popular way for businesses to reach their target audiences. By partnering with influencers who have a large following on social media, businesses can promote their products or services to a wider audience.
If you can identify relevant influencers in your industry, then you can tap into their influence to reach a larger audience for your business.
Furniture brands, for example, can work with influencers in the gaming industry to promote their computer tables and gaming chairs. Food and beverage manufacturers, meanwhile, can collaborate with cooking channels who can use and highlight their products in a video.
2. Live Streaming
Live streaming is another trend that has been on the rise in recent years.
Platforms like Facebook Live and Instagram Live allow businesses to connect with their customers in real-time. This is a great way to build relationships with customers and create a sense of community around your brand.
Alongside influencer marketing, live streaming is a social media trend that a business can leverage to reach their target audience and promote their products or services.
Live streaming also enables businesses to do live online selling. This is an engaging activity that gives a business the opportunity to sell their products via auctioning an item one by one to customers who are tuned in online.
An online store of preloved goods like clothes, sneakers, and toys or collectibles can take advantage of live streaming, as many users enjoy the thrill of coveting an item live.
3. Social Media Video Content
Video content is becoming increasingly important on social media platforms, as it coincides with the rise of live streaming and influencer marketing. In fact, according to HubSpot, nine out of 10 people say they want to see more video content from brands. So, if you're not already creating video content for your business, now is the time to start!
With the growing popularity of platforms like TikTok and YouTube, it’s no real surprise that social media video content is as ubiquitous as it is in 2022.
Reels is a new feature on the popular social media platforms that allows businesses to create short videos that are creative and visually appealing. This allows your business to engage with your target audience and promote your products or services in a fun and creative way.
Tiktok challenges, for example, have become a popular way for businesses to be viral. These challenges typically involve users creating short videos of themselves using or promoting a product.
Vlogging is another example, and depending on a Youtuber or Tiktokerist's niche, it can be used for a wide variety of businesses, from promoting a product, to teaching viewers how to use it.
Blocks of text are a no-no. Snackable videos are in.
4. Trend-Jacking in Ads
Trend-jacking is when you create an ad that capitalizes on a current trend or meme. This can be a great way to get your ad noticed amidst all of the noise on social media platforms. But it's important to make sure that you're using trends tastefully and not coming across as trying-hard or tacky.
As a technique that businesses use to make their products or services more visible in the online marketplace via virality, trend-jacking can be done by using relevant hashtags, creating themed content, or partnering with influencers who are already talking about the trend.
Angkas, a ride-hailing app in the Philippines, is a top-of-mind example of a brand that has successfully trend-jacked in its ads. From funny memes to current trends and social affairs, Angkas has made a mark for its witty persona as a brand, which enables it to stay relevant, even for audiences who don’t use the app.
5. Instant Messaging
Instant messaging apps like Viber, WhatsApp, Telegram, and Facebook Messenger are becoming increasingly popular ways for people to communicate with businesses. These apps offer a convenient way for customers to get in touch with businesses without having to pick up the phone or send an email. It also helps in providing customer support or sending updates about new products or promotions.
For online stores, there are different ways to optimize your messaging processes. One example is using marketing automation like a chatbot. A chatbot can provide your business with 24/7 chat support, which a breathing and living human might not have the capacity to do. This offers a great way to provide customer support or answer frequently asked questions.
Another example is setting up an automated message system that sends updates to customers about new products or promotions. This is another convenient way to keep your customers updated on what's new with your business and encourage them to make a purchase.
Here’s a ChatGenie automated messaging feature that you can check out:
That being said, it helps to be aware of the do’s and dont’s when faced with customer concerns online. A chatbot might not have the programming to respond accordingly, which may only cause more customer dissatisfaction.
Conclusively, social commerce is evolving rapidly and businesses need to stay ahead of the curve to stay competitive. By keeping up with these trends, businesses in the Philippines will be well-positioned to take advantage of this growing opportunity.
Ultimately, Put in the Extra Effort to Express Empathy Online
In a country like the Philippines where social media is such a big part of everyday life, it's more important than ever for businesses to have a strong presence on these platforms. But it's not enough just to be present – you need to be engaging, helpful, and empathetic.
Your customers are human beings, not just faceless consumers. So put in the extra effort to connect with them on a human level. If you can do that, you'll be well on your way to success in social commerce.
So, what’s keeping you from maximizing the potential of your business?
Sell inside the world’s biggest apps with ChatGenie, your multi-channel platform in managing your online store, and sign up for FREE today!