Realistic showcases, social networks have expanded their marketing function to include e-commerce issues in recent years. Strong promises but mixed results.
According to an Accenture study published in January, social commerce represents a significant financial gain of an estimated $1,200 billion worldwide by 2025, compared to $492 billion in 2021. Facebook stores, Instagram Shopping, Tik Tok Shopping or even Pinterest embody Shopping -After the commerce that social networks are taking now. In this regard, a YouGov study conducted from January 5-6, 2022 revealed that consumers first prefer Facebook (73%), Instagram (26%) and then Snapchat (11%) to make purchases through social networks. However, it is currently impossible to conclude a direct transaction on the social network: as soon as the product is selected, the customer goes to the brand’s merchant site. According to YouGov, ads and sponsored content on social networks encourage 67% of French people to visit the brand’s website. Favorable statistic for the traffic of commercial websites, and possibly for their business.
In 2016, the brand of bags and accessories made from recycled and recycled materials Rive droite Paris launched at the same time as its Instagram account. Two years before the arrival of the shopping function on the social network, Rive droite Paris wanted to create a direct link with consumers. “In the beginning, Instagram was first and foremost an exchange channel to get first feedback from customers and test our economic model,” asserts Aurélie Jansem, co-founder of the Aurélie Jansem brand. For over two years, Rive droite Paris has owned his Instagram Shopping store and invested in paid acquisitions. “It is an additional offering that presents, in the blink of an eye, the price range of our products, Aurélie Jansem continues. Thus consumers can place our brand that often inspires gift ideas and discover the full view of our catalog.”
However, the brand struggles to identify the transactions generated by social shopping. “Between regular iOS updates and algorithmic attribution transparency, we have no insight into the exact tracking of social networks on our online store,” explains the co-founder. Hence, the omnichannel strategy was adopted and the sales channels were multiplied in retail, wholesale and markets to enhance the balance of business. Right Bank Paris is currently thinking of rebuilding the traffic origin, by approaching specialized companies.
But there is no doubt about giving up on your Instagram store, even if that channel is positioned far from direct traffic and SEO. “The desirability of our brand on social media cannot be measured, nor can the content we publish and the processes carried out justify Aurélie Jansem. Overall, our sales have also been built thanks to social shopping. Despite Instagram’s flaws, it is a simpler company and an amazing connection to our community.” ”
Artificial intelligence drives exploratory trade
According to data from the Meta Group, Facebook and Instagram Shopping stores have 1.2 million stores and are visited by more than 300 million visitors annually worldwide. Large volumes reflect new consumer trends on social networks. “We have always been a part of supporting the commerce of our partners and know that social networks are the ideal place where consumers discover brands,” Florence Troch, Director of Sales at Meta France abounds. Social networks are an integral part of a corporate business. The social shopping giant is advocating the discovery commerce where the idiosyncrasies of products are highlighted through the Instagram Reels photo or video format. It is enough to ensure a smooth customer experience right up to the purchasing process.
“Like recommending on Netflix, we work the same way on Meta. We deliver content and brands based on our recommender tool,” Florence Troch explains. Whatever the brand, it will therefore be in touch with consumers who are similar to its DNA.” While beauty is one of the most represented categories on the social shopping platforms of the Meta group, the Director of Sales in France ensures that other sectors such as automobiles are not left out. Meta does not provide figures on sales made through its social networks. According to Florence Trouche, brands should continue to invest in personalized advertising to target the right customers and improve their performance as well. “Of course, it is a continuous learning process thanks to artificial intelligence,” said Florence Troch. The process is subject to the vagaries of the algorithms as reported by Rive droite Paris.
Limited return on business depending on the product
For its part, pillow, duvet and bed linen brand Wopilo, which was created in 2017, has opted for an all-digital approach, thanks to its only online store as a sales channel. “So we need to find our customers wherever they are, on the internet,” explains Thomas Hervet, founder of Wopilo. The brand is very active in the area of influence through promotional codes, but the founder mentioned the difficulties, in Instagram Shopping and Facebook Shops, to understand all the characteristics of a product like a pillow. “On our site, the cart easily exceeds 100 euros, but without looking at the explanatory content of our online store, it turns out that discovering our products on one of the social networks seems rather superficial to provoke a purchase,” notes Thomas Hervet. A finding related to the YouGov study that 79% of French people buy for less than 50 euros via social networks, which is 10 euros less than the average e-commerce basket in France (Fevad). Only 2% claim to spend more than 100 euros.
Thus, social shopping has limits for certain categories of activity such as that of Wopilo. So, what is the brand’s interest in maintaining its Instagram and Facebook stores? “It contributes to Woobello’s reassurance and seriousness,” replies Thomas Hervet. In 2022, the brand plans to move to direct shopping, which is more in line with its product catalog and less ambiguous than social shopping in terms of business impact.