What Is Social Commerce | 2 mins read

What is Social Commerce? How to Utilize Facebook, Instagram & More

what is social commerce how to utilize facebook instagram more
Chloe Henderson

By Chloe Henderson

Social commerce has the ability to expose a business to millions of consumers by using social media marketplaces to promote brands, products, and services.

Retailers limited to just one sales channel may find it challenging to improve performance and attract unique customers. By expanding to social media networks, companies can easily set up an online product catalog that any user can view.

Social commerce harnesses the power of the internet to enable retailers to market their inventory globally, enhancing traffic, customer data, and conversion rates.

What is Social Commerce?

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Social commerce refers to the buying, selling, and exchanging of goods and services on social media platforms.

Many social media outlets have established their own marketplaces, allowing brands to advertise and sell their goods to users. Consumers can create orders, enter billing information, and complete transactions all through the social media app.

Social media commerce also includes-

  • Messaging so consumers can ask companies questions about their products and services.
  • Separate group pages and blogs for individual item lines.
  • Product tags and pricing on posts.
  • Advertisement videos and posts.
  • Discount codes, brand ambassadors, and product links.

Many retailers have found success in social commerce, as studies show that social media influences 74% of consumer shopping decisions.

This platform enables businesses to create personalized content and develop buyer personas by tracking traffic flow and user data. It also makes it extremely easy for customers to share feedback and products that they enjoy.

Social Media Platforms

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While there are several social media marketplaces, three are dominating the social commerce space.

1. Facebook

Retailers are able to create their own store via Facebook Marketplace and use Messenger to directly contact consumers. A Facebook store enables businesses to-

  • Upload products and descriptions.
  • Customize product catalogs.
  • Sell directly from the page.
  • Manage purchases.
  • Promote advertisements.
  • Generate insights.

When building the store, companies should carefully pick which product lines to promote, as providing the entire inventory is unnecessary and can bog down the shop. Instead, management should research traffic flow to discover which users visit the store frequently and their interests.

Businesses can start by advertising a few items to gauge how the consumers react, then exchange or add products accordingly. However, it is important to note that Facebook is a social network first, therefore, not every user wants to make a purchase.

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2. Instagram

A Facebook study shows that 70% of shopping enthusiasts turn to Instagram to discover new products. While similar to Facebook, Instagram Shopping enables retailers to post item images and tag prices, which transfers consumers to their page. Instagram shopping is available to companies that-

  • Sell tangible goods.
  • Create an Instagram business account that is connected to a Facebook page.
  • Comply with Instagram's merchant contract and commerce policies.

However, Instagram only enables the in-app transaction feature for major merchants, such as Nike.

3. Pinterest


Although Pinterest launched in 2010, it wasn't until mid-2015 when they introduced buyable pins. This enables retailers to market and sell their products from a post.

When this feature was first launched, there were 30 million users on Pinterest, but in just three months, it skyrocketed to 60 million. Another study shows that Pinterest beats every other social media platform's average order value (AOV) at $50 per sale.

Pinterest has worked with top retailers, such as-

  • Macy's
  • Nordstrom
  • Bloomingdale's
  • Wayfair

With only 80% of its content being repins, Pinterest gives companies the opportunity to create unique content that can gain attraction and shares. Just like the other outlets, retailers need to post high-quality images of their items and advertise product variances, such as different colors and sizes.

The Benefits of Social Commerce

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Opening up a new sales channel is always a great way to gain exposure. However, there are specific benefits that social commerce offers retailers, including-

  • Consistent Audience Growth
Thousands of new users around the world join social media every day. This continuous growth, plus the millions of active users, makes social media platforms a great place for retailers to reach consumers. Companies can directly contact customers and launch targeted campaigns to drive site traffic and their clientele.

  • Better Search Engine Ranking
Social media engagement leads to more transactions, which increases the traffic directed towards a retailer's website.

This can significantly improve a company's ranking on search engines, such as Google, making it easier for consumers to find a brand. Additional product links shared on social media also influence traffic flow and rankings.

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  • More Unique Engagement and Traffic
In order to improve the conversion rate, retailers need to actively work to grow their social media presence and exposure. Users are more likely to show interest in a brand if they feel their content is engaging.

Fortunately, social media allows companies to have conversations with consumers through direct messaging, comments, and stories. By creating an open line of communication, users can get comfortable with a business and express their concerns and praises.

  • Improved Customer Loyalty and Retention
The social media model allows businesses to go beyond selling their products by enabling them to create strong customer relationships.

Through constant interaction, retailers can build and maintain trusting relationships with users, promoting loyalty and retention. This form of engagement also improves customer satisfaction, as users feel that their feedback is heard and appreciated.

  • More Business Data
Social media platforms provide detailed insights on consumers, providing a large volume of user data. This enables marketing teams to study demographics and buyer personas to create more effective campaigns.
By monitoring an advertisement's impressions, engagements, and audience reach, management can track the promotional campaign's performance.


Social media commerce can expose a brand to people around the world. However, companies must know how to utilize each platform's tools and features to maximize customer reach.