When it comes to ecommerce shopping on social media platforms, it seems like most of the social media giants have failed thus far to take a large slice of consumer's ecommerce shopping dollars. However at the end of 2015, it seems that big social media brands have finally started to turn the corner on social shopping. Social media companies like Pinterest, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter are starting to roll out new advertising and native shopping features as they try and get a piece of consumers retail dollars. Slant Marketing has put together a comprehensive graphic that covers the latest social shopping features available to brands on Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter and Facebook. Let's dive into them a bit more.
Pinterest decided to roll out "buyable pins" in June. Consumers are greeted with a blue buy it button which can be clicked to buy the item directly from Pinterest. Payment is made either buy a credit card or with Apple Pay which is stored on the consumers Pinterest account.
Buyable pins are currently offered at no cost at companies working with one of five e-commerce engines: Bigcommerce, Demandware, IMB Commerce, Magento and Shopify. Pinterest has claimed to have around 30 million buyable pins at the time of rollout and is now up to around 60million. The only really major hurdle thus far is that there seems to be a waiting list if you want to try out buyable pins for your own brand.
If you are looking at customer engagement metrics, Instagram is a huge winner when compared to the other major social media brand. Instagram has been found to be one of the best social platforms at turning a browser into a shopper. A Forrester study found that fan engagement rates on Instagram were 58x and 120x higher than on Facebook and Twitter.
Advertisers are currently able to target users based on demographic information as well as Facebook data as well. Currently Instagram ads are only available to select brands, however, Instagram has plans to bring advertising to smaller brands in the near future.
YouTube started to roll out dynamic ads in the spring in 2015. These ads display products related to the content of the video being viewed. These products are added to videos based on demographic and contextual information. This option is available to AdWords advertisers in the Google Merchant Center.
There is however some limitations. If people click on any part of the ad, YouTube will charge the advertiser, even if they choose to skip the ad after doing so. Previously marketers have only had to pay if people watched their full ad or at least 30 seconds of the ad.
Twitter has a huge user base and an active demographic favorable to social shopping so they actively trying to incorporate ecommerce into their platform. To date, Twitter has had limited success in rolling out social shopping. Experts believe that "in-stream" social shopping on Twitter might suffer because consumers are not willing to broadcast what they want to buy on their Twitter timelines. Currently buy buttons are only available to U.S. retailers and companies working with specific ecommerce engines.
While Facebook is regarded as a platform more than for sharing information rather than for making purchases, around 90% of all Facebook users have liked at least one brand. So there is a great opportunity for brands to use some of the retail-friendly ecommerce features that Facebook offers. Because of the huge amount of data that Facebook has on its users, Facebook can be used for very powerful targeting.
Beyond traditional demographic and located based data, Facebook users can also be targeted by purchasing behavior and life events. Facebook also offers "custom audiences" based on external contact lists. Currently both features are only being tested by select advertisers and shown to a small number of Facebook users, so while these features are helpful, they may not be available to all retailers.
As you can see many of the major social media platforms are finally starting to embrace social commerce. The ability to sell directly to consumers through social media is starting to look better than ever for ecommerce businesses.