How Social Media Is Changing e-Commerce

  • Insights

Digital media evolves at the speed of light, so we’re always keeping an eye on what trends are making big moves in the digital world. Thomas Frank, Executive Director of Marketing joined Greer Kimsey and Lauren Sloat, Senior Directors of Marketing, along with Josh Collins, Director of Destination Activation + Marketing, to talk about the changes in the digital and social landscape that we’ll be seeing in the new decade.

The intersection of e-commerce and social media — also known as social commerce — is set to change the way consumers shop. From one-tap, in-app purchasing to AI-powered visual search, social media platforms are continuing to reduce barriers to purchase, making the purchasing process seamless.

The Visual Search Boom

Visual search is the next frontier — technology that leverages AI to detect items in a photo and serve ads of related items means that users, without knowing how to describe a product, can now snap a photo and purchase a product on the spot. Pinterest Lens and Pinterest’s shoppable pins not only recommend products for users via visual search, but the ability to close out purchases with Touch ID means users can purchase products without ever pulling out their wallets.

Instagram Shoppable Links May Be Expanding to Influencers

Instagram’s shoppable links allow users to easily purchase the products featured in a brand’s photos — rumor is, the app may be expanding this capability to influencers. Collaborative ad units on Instagram would allow influencers to link to a brand’s product catalog so that followers can instantly make purchases in-app, extending the reach of shoppable links to entirely new audiences.

Instagram Shoppable Posts Can Now Be Run as Ads

Instagram Shoppable Posts can now be run as ads — furthering the reach of content to new audiences to complete frictionless purchasing experiences from within the platform. While Instagram already introduced the in-app checkout feature, Facebook is working on expanding in-app purchasing capabilities to its Facebook News Feed ads — giving more power to social media advertisers to leverage user-friendly shopping experiences.There’s been an explosion of growth in the development of e-commerce tools on social media platforms in recent years. With 87% of e-commerce shoppers saying social media helps to make shopping decisions, we expect to see continued use of social commerce’s seamless shopping experiences in 2020 and beyond.


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