Social Commerce: Integrating E-Commerce with Social Media Platforms

Businesses need to integrate e-commerce platforms with social media to leverage more than half of the social media users who research products on social channels.

Social Commerce: Integrating E-Commerce with Social Media Platforms
Katie Metz // Adriana Lacy Consulting

GlobalWebIndex reports that 54% of social browsers use social media to research products. With e-commerce businesses looking for ways to expand their online presence, connect with clients, and increase sales, social media provides a great opportunity to achieve these goals.

Businesses need to integrate e-commerce platforms with social media to leverage more than half of the social media users who research products on social channels. Combining social media with e-commerce platforms, also called social commerce, not only enhances visibility it also helps businesses get valuable insights for their marketing campaigns.

What is Social Commerce?

Social commerce involves selling and buying products through social media platforms. This may entail making in-app purchases through shoppable posts and user-generated content to facilitate transactions within the social media environment.

Businesses can smoothly integrate e-commerce functionalities with social media platforms, utilizing the extensive user base and engagement levels of platforms such as X, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest to increase sales.

Businesses can leverage active social media participation by providing their customers with a convenient shopping experience where they get to shop through social apps while they engage in content and communication on social media.

What are the strategies for integrating e-commerce into social media?

Integrating e-commerce functionalities directly into social media platforms, requires you to adopt several strategic approaches that will help you to successfully merge social interactions and online shopping. The strategies include:

Creating shoppable posts and ads

Creating shoppable ads on platforms like Instagram and Pinterest for your products helps to enhance the shopping experience for customers. Shoppable ads contain ‘buy’ buttons to enable your customers to explore products showcased within the ad and purchase them directly from the ad, hence eliminating the need for additional steps in the buying process. 

Thanks to shoppable posts, you could also advertise and sell products directly from the posts you make on your social platforms. Shoppable posts can be embedded with ‘buy’ shopping tags within the content that allow customers to browse and purchase items without being redirected to an external website. 

Integrating these features helps businesses leverage active user engagement on social media by offering customers a seamless shopping experience on the go.

Influencer marketing

In influencer marketing, businesses collaborate with influential individuals who have a large organic following on social media to promote their services and products. The idea is to partner with a content creator who is appealing to your target audience and matches your brand’s image and value. The influencers may be well-known macro-influencers or just smaller micro-influencers.

Some influencers may incorporate calls-to-actions into their content, urging their audience to explore the business website to learn more about your product or make a purchase. Others can provide discount codes or affiliate links, propelling their followers to purchase products while enabling businesses to track the performance of their influencer campaigns.

By involving influencers on social media platforms businesses can boost sales, increase brand exposure, and foster enduring connections with their target audience.

Social storefronts

Social networking sites now have the option to set up storefronts where customers can browse and purchase products directly from your social channel. You can leverage these stores to advertise your business and sell your products.

For instance, Facebook allows you to create a store within the platform called Facebook Shops, which lets you display your products and even customize your store. Users can then explore your products and purchase in-app, enjoying a seamless shopping experience.

Similarly, Instagram has a feature known as Shops on Instagram where you can customize your shopping experience with your desired themes and products. Users can visit your shop from their business profile or via stories to browse products and purchase through the app.

Integrate social sign-ins

Customers sometimes find it hectic to fill out their information during the payment process. By integrating social sign-ins, users can automatically fill out their details in the billing form with one click using their existing social media information. This simplifies the payment process.

With social sign-ins, new users do not have to go through the tiring process of setting up a new account, coming up with a new password, and remembering all these details. What's more,  social sign-ins do not only make the shopping experience seamless, but you also gain invaluable insights to improve your marketing strategies.

Leverage social media plugins

Social media plugins and extensions enable you to integrate e-commerce with social media platforms. Social media plugins have different functionalities, so make sure you’re choosing the correct extension for your needs.

You can consider the following plugins for social commerce integration.

  • Social sharing buttons- Enable you to share your products on your social media posts and profiles.
  • Social feeds- Place your Facebook or X feeds on your websites giving your site more visibility.
  • Social comments- You can incorporate this plugin into your site to ensure comments made say, on Facebook, are visible on your blog to keep the conversation going. 

Social commerce helps you to leverage the active following of social channels to increase sales and grow your business. It enables you to showcase your products to a larger audience while conveniently allowing them to make purchases within their social channels without redirecting them elsewhere.

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