How CPG Companies Can Use Social To Create An eCommerce Boom
As CPGs invest more in their online presence, crafting social media strategies in order to take advantage of social commerce trends will be important to growing their eCommerce businesses.
What is Social Commerce and why does it matter to CPG Companies?In case you hadn’t gotten the memo, eCommerce has been booming in the wake of 2020. With the COVID-19 pandemic shifting consumer habits to online shopping very rapidly, CPG companies especially have been making their moves to direct-to-consumer businesses.
All the major players in the social media space (Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat) were also quick to jump on the eCommerce bandwagon. The platforms either released or updated their in-app shopping functionalities over the course of the pandemic, seeing an opportunity to optimize the online customer experience and improve customer acquisition through these channels.
The average social media user spends 2 hours and 24 minutes per day on social media, with 50.1% of that time being spent on a mobile device. This means that, for merchants, an ability to integrate a shopping experience with media consumption is an extremely powerful tool. Meeting consumers where they’re already spending time, anticipating their needs, and making shopping a seamless experience, are a recipe for success in today’s market. So, when we discuss social commerce, we’re talking about this in-app shopping functionality with big social media platforms.
Based on a recent eMarketer report, social commerce sales rose 35.8% to $36.62 billion in 2020. And that number will continue to grow. By 2025, experts predict that social commerce sales will reach $79.64 billion.
This tells us that social commerce is not only an immense opportunity, but a necessity for merchants looking to grow through eCommerce. As CPG brands enter and invest more in the online space, they will need to take heed of this trend too.
The Benefits of Social Commerce for CPG BrandsThere are many benefits to prioritizing social commerce as a part of a CPG’s omnichannel strategy. 51% of consumers surveyed in a recent NPD study stated that content they saw on their Facebook and Instagram feed resulted in purchase. But beyond the re-affirming numbers, here are the core reasons why CPG brands should incorporate social selling into their direct-to-consumer roadmap:
Increased Reach: There are quite literally billions of people across all major social platforms. By offering eCommerce functionality in social media channels through organic content and paid advertising you have access to a large pool of tech-savvy consumers and their preferences.
Discovery Commerce: Facebook especially is putting an emphasis on Discovery Commerce solutions which focus on anticipating customer needs before even they themselves do. With a Discovery Commerce approach, merchants can make sure their products are finding consumers prior to customers doing intentional online research.
A Better Shopping Experience: Social Commerce helps to fill the gap of the “in-store shopping experience” that eCommerce websites can’t provide. Social media offers numerous functionalities that help merchants better serve, connect with, and understand their customers. Ranging from customer support integrations to innovative content formats such as AR-Try-on, social media provides consumers with a fun and inviting shopping experience.
Create Dialogue With Customers: Brands can connect with consumers through Livestreams (even Walmart is doing it) in order to showcase new offerings or answer questions. Furthermore, organic social media content gives merchants an overall ability to create the right dialogue with their customers through Community Management and providing a platform to highlight everything their business values.
Minimize Returns: Leveraging social media also helps customers to make more educated purchase decisions by providing them relevant product information, easy access to customer support, and in some cases the ability to virtually try-on apparel (Pinterest and Snapchat). These factors ultimately lead to lower return rates.
How CPG Brands Can Sell on Social MediaSo now that we’ve talked about the ‘why’ and the ‘what’ of social commerce, let’s dive into the ‘how’. Here are a few ways you can leverage social channels as a part of your eCommerce selling strategy:
Instagram Shops and Shopping in Reels: Merchants can create a fullscreen digital storefront through their Instagram account by using Instagram’s Shop functionality. Create a full-fledged shopping experience for users without them even having to leave the app. More recently, Instagram also added the Shopping in Reels feature, where brands can tag products in any Instagram Reels that they post.
Facebook’s Discovery Commerce: Facebook’s network of Discovery Commerce tools provides merchants with the ability to anticipate consumers’ needs and match users with the products they are most likely to love. Leveraging these solutions in order to not only meet your target audience, but to generate new demand is one way to fuel the growth of your business.
Make Pinterest A Shoppable Experience: Pinterest is the platform of choice that many users go to for product inspiration in all verticals-- from food to home goods. This is a great channel to acquire new customers that may have never heard of your brand before. The platform offers the ability to turn all your page’s “Pins” into product ads with a price tag.
Get Innovative with TikTok and SnapChat: Both TikTok and SnapChat offer unique opportunities for AR lenses, filters, and stickers that serve to both help users along in their buyer’s journey but to also increase brand awareness. The TikTok platform is especially growing amongst younger consumers, and is a great way to get your brand name in front of their eyes while also offering them easy access to your online store.