Social Commerce for Brands 2024

Live streaming, TikTok Shop, AI and more on Social Media Commerce to expand the brand’s market share.

Digital marketing

18 April, 2024

Table of contents

As digital retail sales worldwide are expected to reach 28% by 2025, social commerce plays a crucial role in the market, providing opportunities to make profits. Social commerce is estimated to increase 2,5 times the e-commerce rate with a market value of $1,2 trillion and a CAGR of 26% by the year 2025.

According to a study by Deloitte, 64% of online shoppers are finding and buying their desirable products on social media. Its platforms are becoming a one-stop-shop for users, especially Gen Z. The most purchased product categories on social media are apparel, beauty, and food.

Here are the strategies that can be followed for the brands to increase their value in social commerce.

Influencer Marketing

Around 67% of the users believe in considering a product or a brand if their ideal influencer was featured in its promotion. 41% of global buyers are willing to purchase products swiftly and directly from influencers.

Archrival’s research found that Gen Z customers are 3,5 times more likely to believe that social media content creators are the ones who drive trends. Therefore, it is important for the brands to completely rely on influencers and give them enough freedom to co-create the storytelling narrative. The content has to be more subtle and the brand’s products must be seamlessly placed in it.

Nyane from the UK is specialized in making Non-Playable Character (NPC) content. The NPC streaming has become a trendy digital phenomenon on TikTok where the users pay the creators to act like a character from the video games as it gives a nostalgic feeling and a way to amalgamate the users’ favorite video game character into their real lives. She has worked with the beauty label Too Faced and lingerie brand Adore Me. The apparel brand Luar partnered with a creator-driven platform Emcee to release a drop co-designed with its content creators.

Influencer Aleali May became the first woman to design unisex Air Jordan in collaboration with Nike. She also joined forces with Mugler and Alien Perfume for a campaign. Marine Serre and artist Yugnat teamed up to create humorous memes on the brand’s collections to target younger audiences.

TikTok also owns the Star Creator program that includes authentic sellers and right-minded creators who can be matched up and work together to create high-quality content. It is also crucial to take care of the influencers and creators in the process.

Benefit Cosmetics took its top 10 TikTok Shop influencers for a San Francisco trip to strengthen their relationship. They were not required to post any content on this trip. Sephora and TikTok opened an Incubator Program to educate and connect start-up beauty brands with their creators.

Offers and Discounts

As most online shoppers are getting comfortable with social media shopping, it is needed to offer some discounts to encourage them even more to buy the product. Luxury brands can opt for memberships and direct customer services along with specialized discounts based on the customer’s journey through the brand page.

Offering discounts, rewards, and coupons by following the play-to-win strategy can be another viable option. Here, the brands have the obligation to conduct online games, live streams, and competitions.

Dior Beauty US provides masterclasses live on skincare and make-up routine and offers the users who attend the classes with discount codes and special gifts. Fresh of LVMH Moët Hennessy - Louis Vuitton has released ‘The Fresh Indulgent Voyage,’ a WeChat Mini Program initiative that utilizes samples and test products to enhance user-generated content. This, in turn, drove over 80% of its new users.

H&M used Facebook to launch a coupon campaign that offered a 30% discount on its collection for women, men, and kids in all product categories. It used Facebook Ads Manager to manage this promotion and also employed third-party apps such as AgoraPulse and Woobox. Brands such as Rare Beauty released its exclusive products on TikTok live shopping before it was made available in Sephora.

Immersive Shopping Experience

Immersive shopping experiences such as live streaming, AR, and AI are picking up worldwide. 40% of global shoppers choose live streaming to be complementary and 60% of them show interest in the Augmented Reality shopping experience.

The live streams must be original and not forced. It should be at a slow pace to educate the attendees. In this case, choosing influencers and creators from YouTube is ideal for creating educational and entertaining long videos that connect to the younger generation. Plus, it has not yet been used to its full potential. YouTube offers suite tools such as live streaming, shorts, and the amenity to tag affiliated products and/or brands to the video and monetize it at the same time.

KimChi Chic Beauty has a loyal community that attends the live streams. This was driven by the brand giving discounts on its TikTok live sessions. Pinterest has officially unveiled its streaming options as a part of the shopping experience with Tastemade. Kiehl's Malaysia used Instagram for a virtual open house tour event, encouraging the users to comment with a particular hashtag which opens into its Instagram Shop and/or website. Around 95% of Kiehl's Malaysia online sales at that time were driven by this campaign.

Using AI for this by partnering with Tech companies will help the brands in getting a seamless result. Having a virtual human figure is a unique idea but it is important to be more considerate of ethical problems. Shiseido had a livestream session with virtual influencers Ayayi, Noah, Ruo Yi Ro1yi, and Ayo on its Tmall channel.

Another example where AI was involved is when LTK introduced the Match.AI solution that matches the brands with their ideal content creators. TikTok took full responsibility for keeping track of incoming orders for the UK’s beauty label Nature Spell through its AI-driven Fulfilled by TikTok service.

Discover and Inspire

Creating original content that drives the users to seek, discover, and get inspired from it through digital storytelling will build curiosity around the brand. Another way is to fund user-generated content that is not directly tagged to the label. It is the brand’s responsibility to take time to go through and comment on the influencers’ content that features its products.

Using AI to assist consumers to have an easier journey in discovering the products. The beauty platform from Finland, Revive, provides an option for its users to upload a picture of the look and get a matching resemblance. Platforms such as Google Images and LykDat allow users to upload images of the product and receive links to products sold that are identical and similar to it.

Pinterest can be another viable platform to influence the discovery and inspiration of consumers. Since 96% of the searches are not directly related to the brands, it provides an opportunity to showcase correct keywords and have grouped images that are coherent with the brand's identity and value. It has an Inclusive AI service that helps users find inspirational pictures that look good with their diverse looks.

Anthropologie joined hands with Pinterest to showcase bridal trends predicted by Pinterest on its New York popup. Brands such as La Mer, Fenty Beauty, Mejuri, and IT Cosmetics have their pages with different marketing strategies.

TikTok has recorded 503% more searches on fashion than Google. Even though the conversion rate has been increased from 2% to 8% on TikTok Shop, it is still at a lower cut than Amazon. Creating original and audience-appropriate content is important. The platform also helps the users to discover small-scale brands and their worthy products. In turn, these brands can experiment with the trends, colors, sounds, and influencers used.

Labels including fitness apparel brand Gymshark, intimate wear brand Lounge Underwear, men’s skincare brand MESOA, online beauty brand Cult Beauty, and eyebrow product brand Eyebrow Queen are some of the thriving brands with unique and engaging content on TikTok.

Cover Image: Rare Beauty Lip Duo on TikTok, Kimchi Chic Beauty, Anthropologie with Pinterest, Nyane for Adore Me and Ayayi for Shiseido, courtesy TikTok, Kimchi Chic Beauty official website, Retail Touchpoints and DAO Insights respectively.