Is Social Commerce The Future of DTC?

Social commerce has become popular, with all major social platforms such as Meta, TikTok, Pinterest, Twitter, and Snap making e-commerce functions available through their self-service tools, including product tagging, shopping-specific ads, shoppable ads, and now Livestream shopping.


Advertisers can ‘tag’ products in posts, which links to a catalog in the app and leads to an online store where users can purchase items. Snapchat offers advertisers an augmented reality (AR) in-store experience, combined with in-store screens and other nifty technologies. Shoppable allows social users to buy items or services from the ad without leaving the app. Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, offers shoppable units through an in-app payment method, while Instagram has started offering shoppable ads in the US.


“Traditionally the purchase process that customers follow on e-commerce sites has required the filling of long forms, multiple steps, and slow loading payment methods,” says Terry Visser, co-founder of shoppable ad platform Shopala. “When customers are being targeted further down the funnel, brands should offer them fast checkout options in the form of third-party checkouts or shoppable ads on social media. This improves conversions and customer loyalty by making the checkout process faster and easier.”


To make the most of Livestream shopping, brands must ensure they have a long-term strategy, a clear vision, and both hard and soft goals such as sales targets combined with improved customer interactions or greater awareness.


Carmen Muley, chief executive of content broadcasting agency Freim, says: “Livestreaming shopping goes far beyond social commerce. Live shopping can be integrated into a brand’s own website and re-streamed on social media. Live shopping merges the best aspects of both social media and e-commerce, and this is just the beginning of a new era.”


Before you start streaming, ensure you have chosen the right platforms for your audience. Try one or two different platforms before diving in, and always target hardcore fans in your first few broadcasts to build awareness and learn for future streams.