Facebook and Instagram Shops: Blurring the Lines Between Social Media and E-Commerce

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Facebook is making a big push into online shopping. With its new feature “Shops,” businesses are now able to set up free storefronts on their Facebook Pages and Instagram profiles. 

Why is this a game-changer? Let’s dive in. 

Facebook and Instagram started off as social platforms that facilitated human connection. Facebook kept us connected with friends and family and Instagram connected us with people who shared our same interests. Whether it was through images or by having conversations in groups, users quickly started to find their place in the social sphere. These platforms provided a safe space for many users who are now part of vibrant online communities. 

Over time, Facebook and Instagram became premier destinations for digital content, but also hubs for e-commerce. Users started to turn to social media during their online product search and rely on content creators for inspiration and guidance. The level of interactivity and commercial nature of the exchange of information brought about great opportunities for companies.

How Social Commerce Evolved on Facebook and Instagram 

Before these platforms became sophisticated online shops, creators and marketers relied on different methods to track purchase intent. Link in bios, swipe ups and saves became essential metrics. However, these metrics didn’t guarantee purchases. 

In an effort to serve users, these platforms have implemented a string of features to facilitate the shopping experience. Instagram for example, allows businesses and creators to share featured products through organic posts and Stories. Users also have the possibility of discovering products with the Search & Explore features. According to Instagram, 60 percent of people say they find new products through the app, and 140 million people click on product tags each day. 

Shortening the Customer Journey 

Shortening the customer journey is the dream of every marketer. And that’s really what social media platforms offer today. 

When people use Facebook and Instagram they engage in micro-moments. They embark on a journey of exploration and discovery and it is very easy to move fast and bounce around. This is why in some cases it’s been tricky to attribute marketing initiatives to sales. 

Now, this is starting to change. Brands are not only able to reach consumers purposefully when they are being exposed to powerful triggers, they can also offer convenience and accessibility by helping users get what they want when they want it. 

The path from discovery to purchase has never been shorter

Awareness

The awareness stage is an ongoing process. Traditionally done over multiple methods or touch points such as billboards, TV ads, and print media, marketers targeted the customer multiple times. In order to get the consumer to act towards a purchase, your brand and product had to be in their lives repeatedly. Now, this process can live entirely on Instagram or/and Facebook by keeping a strong social branding, posting consistently, showcasing brand values, and partnering with influencers.

Consideration and evaluation

Customers used to have more time to consider and evaluate a brand before running into the chance to make a purchase. Oftentimes, they decided on another product that was presented more conveniently.

Purchase

With Shops, this stage is shorter than ever.With Shops, the purchase stage is fully available on the app. Instead of spending efforts re-targeting customers with ads, emails, and other methods, you can now keep the entire check out process on the same platform.

Facebook and Instagram Shops Infographic

Facebook and Instagram Shops for Influencer Marketing Strategies

Shops present exciting opportunities for influencer marketing. Influencers play a huge role in the inspirational culture found on Instagram and Facebook. Users rely on them to not only drive behavior change, but to seek out product recommendations. 

You have probably noticed that influencers often tag brands in their posts, but they don’t give their followers any more product information. With a tag, a follower lands on the awareness stage, but a purchase is a long way ahead. Now with Shops, users are just a click away of being able to browse products, explore collections, and purchase. 

Shops will give marketers a set of new data that will inform future influencer marketing strategies. 

Leverage Facebook and Instagram Shops TODAY

The blurring lines between social entertainment and ecommerce make these platforms a powerful tool for marketers and the sooner you can adapt new practices, the sooner you will be able to uncover insights and ultimately better serve your consumers. 

At Open Influence we are excited to embark on these new influencer marketing journeys with our partners! It’s been great to see these social media platforms evolve and we can’t wait to explore these new possibilities. As always, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at social@openinfluence.com, we are always happy to hear from you.

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