Think about the last couple purchases you’ve made—how many have been through an online venue? The ease of online shopping is in more demand than ever, which is why websites and social media networks alike have been in a race to offer functional ecommerce tools. Websites have been a step ahead for a while, but the value of social tools has been increasing in the past couple years. If retailers are selling on websites, they should also be looking into the benefits of a solid social media strategy that includes in-app shopping to get the most out of both options.
According to Sprout Social, 57% of small businesses currently sell on social commerce platforms and 71% anticipate selling on social commerce platforms in the next three years. We’ve already seen social apps starting to put more behind their shopping tool efforts, and this data shows us that it’s for a good reason. Businesses want to sell on apps, and consumers are buying. If your business decides it’s time to invest in social commerce, then it will be a matter of time and labor—most of it centered around uploading catalogs or connecting them to your existing website. Plus, you’ll need the capacity to manage and monitor all of those orders coming through.
But which one do you choose? While many platforms have begun to explore in-app shopping options, such as TikTok, Pinterest, and Snapchat, it’s important to note that Facebook currently holds the title of most popular social commerce option with Instagram as a close second. Since the shops offer similar functions, it’s no surprise to see their enhanced shopping capabilities are boosting the use of the tool.
Additionally, due to the acquisition of Instagram into Facebook, these platforms’ commerce option has been simply labeled Shops. Before, they were two separate catalogs you would have to set up. Now, you can set up one catalog and have it available on both Facebook and Instagram as long as the accounts are linked. You will need to make sure you have your Instagram account set to a business one, and you will need full permissions for both your Facebook page and catalog.
In general, this refers to purchases made online through websites, emails, apps, etc., and a large majority of them are made through a website. There have been a multitude of pre-built websites created to fill this need—you might recognize names such as Shopify, Square, and Wix—and they’re ideal for a smaller catalog business just looking to dip their toes in. However, for small businesses that focuses on online shopping and large catalogs, they should look into the benefits of a custom website.
It’s important to invest in a website for many reasons. Because social shopping is a newer function, there are still a lot of customers more comfortable with buying on a website. If they start their customer journey on social media, they may browse your catalog but switch over to the website to make the final purchase. It does not always happen, but some are more inclined to trust a website to keep their information safe than a social media platform. Even if you are selling your products on a third-party site such as Etsy or Redbubble, there are often fees taken from your sales to use their site. As a result, small businesses have been moving to their own website due to those increasing fees. Plus, if they choose a custom website, they can truly build it out to fit their brand image and properly support their catalog.
Additionally, if you plan to grow your business over the years, a custom site will evolve more efficiently. Pre-built ecommerce websites have their limits, so it actually benefits your time and budget more to invest in a custom site that can grow with you. If it’s not in your budget, then starting out on a site like Shopify will help you set a solid starting point and learn what you might need going forward. Then, you can start planning how you want the future site to look and find a website designer that can help bring that vision to life.
If your website hasn’t been up to the task of handling your current catalog or you want to invest in one that will support your business’ growth, the experts at That’s My Idea Marketing have you covered. We are experts in designing a website that looks good and works with Google standards to help boost your online traction.