How Social Commerce Product Discovery is Changing Holiday Shopping

The past 20 months have been transformative, to say the least. A paradigm shift from the traditional brick-and-mortar holiday shopping to a staggering rise of online eCommerce holiday shopping meant that brands needed to pivot quickly to reach consumers where they shop.

The way consumers engage with brands has irrevocably changed over the past year, and as they gear up for this year’s holidays, their strategies need to adapt too. As a result, the role of social media in the holiday shopping journey has also changed.

eMarketer forecasts that the number of US social commerce buyers will grow 12.9% to 90.4 million in 2021, highlighting an evident need that digital advertising on social platforms will continue to play an increasingly critical role in driving consumers to make purchases

Brands that want to remain competitive and profitable can’t afford to ignore social media since it’s bringing incredible value during the holiday season. It is projected that social commerce sales are expected to increase by more than 35% in 2021. According to Salesforce, social referrals to eCommerce sites will increase by 30% during the holidays this year.

This article will help brands gear up on social commerce for the rest of the holiday season this year.

In fact, early results from Adobe Digital Economy Index have shown that holiday shoppers spent $14 billion online during Thanksgiving and Black Friday combined. The combined figures are broken down with $8.9 billion of online sales occurring on Black Friday and $5.1 billion on Thanksgiving Day.

This is the first time where both days did not see an increase in online spending over last year when government-mandated lockdowns prevented holiday shoppers from shopping in-store. This kind of shopping behavior shows that consumers have shifted their holiday online spending to earlier in the season.

Furthermore, Adobe anticipates that an overall holiday increase to online sales of between 9-10%. However, the spikes in holiday online shopping will be leveled off this year as consumers spread out their purchasing from October through December 2021.

Four Ways Social Commerce Product Discovery is Reshaping 2021 Holiday Shopping

The holidays are a season of gift-giving. For most holiday shoppers, the joys of the holiday seasons come from finding the perfect gift at the right moment for their loved ones. Making these moments happen is what brands need to do for the holiday season. Discovering the right gift at the right time requires a lot of insights and information for a holiday shopper. Here are several social commerce insights that will pave the way for a successful holiday shopping season:

INSIGHT 1: People are craving a sense of connection with the local communities.

Shopping and community are coming together to provide a more meaningful holiday shopping experience. Holiday shoppers are taking action to share their product discoveries via social media. With holiday shopping behavior such as tagging, sharing, and wishlisting, local brands have an opportunity to create personalized customer-centric experiences on social media.

The holidays can be made more meaningful with personalized ads that matter to holiday shoppers. Holiday shoppers will feel more connected by engaging around their interests, geographies, and passion points with Shakr’s personalized and localized video ads. Brands can connect with people in a whole new meaningful way with our top-notch hyper-local campaign creative at scale.

INSIGHT 2: People are getting sold into “shopper-tainment.”

At-home consumers over the past year have been clamoring for an immersive holiday shopping experience that feels as engaging and entertaining, just like when you shop in-store. This is why holiday shoppers find it more fun to join live shopping events and even gamified shopping experiences during holiday sales events.

Brands need to integrate entertainment into the holiday shopping strategy by creating unique online shopping experiences that are inspiring, enjoyable, and, more importantly – shoppable. It’s important to treat social media just like an online storefront where you can attract the attention of holiday shoppers with immersive and entertaining video ads.

INSIGHT 3: Mega Sale Days are redefining the anticipation for the holiday shopping season.

Just like the past year, holiday shoppers tend to shop early this year. Brands need to learn how to create anticipation for Mega Sale Days, and at the same time, they should also stretch the hype beyond the timeframe of the traditional holiday season. Having a robust video ads strategy has never been more critical. Brands need to be prepared to maximize opportunities for the holidays during peak sale moments. They should also try to capture the attention of unexpected audiences on social media.

INSIGHT 4: More and more product discovery moments are happening on social media.

The acceleration of digital transformation over the past 18 months has fundamentally changed the way holiday shopping happens. People have started to shop at a moment’s notice – from going holiday shopping to always shopping. As such, holiday shoppers have begun to change the way they perceive social media as more than just a source of entertainment but inspiration as well.

Social commerce has become the driving force that serves both interest-based and intent-based holiday shoppers. With the overwhelming amount of content offered to holiday shoppers, brands need to bring an inspiring and personalized stimulus to their online shopping this holiday season.

Social Commerce Platforms to Leverage on the 2021 Holidays

TikTok Shoppable Ads

With TikTok reaching 1 billion active users global this September 2021, there’s no doubt that it’s becoming a force to be reckoned with in social commerce. Videos with the popular hashtag #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt have already attracted 4.6 billion views and more.

For those willing to jump into the TikTok train, brands can create their own hashtag campaign that can double as a TikTok Shoppable Ad. Dubbed as the Hashtag Challenge Plus ads, brands can promote their top holiday ads, connect them to a hashtag, and even add a “Shop Now” button to allow in-app purchases.

Instagram Drops

Instagram has long been hailed as a powerhouse in social commerce. Now brands can showcase their most coveted holiday products with Instagram Drops. Perfect for the holiday season, Instagram Drops allows brands to build demand for products with limited quantities and make them available only for a limited time.

Holiday shoppers can also use Instagram Drops to browse and shop the latest product launches inside the app using the Shop tab. It can also give reminders for products that holiday shoppers find interesting, then they can purchase these items directly in the app.

Pinterest Shopping List

Just in time for the holidays, the Pinterest Shopping List allows brands to advertise their products on Pinterest and make it part of the holiday shopper’s wishlist. This helps holiday shoppers find gift-giving items faster. Pinterest Shopping Lists will collect all products that a holiday shopper pins in one place. It allows them to quickly return to the app and buy the items when they are ready to purchase. It also has price-drop notifications to encourage shoppers to purchase the items at a discounted price. 

Facebook Live Shopping

Live Shopping has been monumental over the past year. As a result, Facebook is also jumping on this trend with Facebook Live Shopping events for this holiday season. Holiday shoppers love seeing product selling that imitates a real-world setting. With Facebook’s Live Shopping, brands have the opportunity to address consumer questions and concerns in real-time. It even allows shoppers to buy products directly during the Livestream.

Twitter Shop Module

Twitter is ready to jump into the social commerce bandwagon this year. It piloted its Shop Module last summer for several brands, and now it’s ready to be launched for all Professional Accounts. The Twitter Shop Module lets brands showcase their products at the top of their profile page. Holiday shoppers can visit the brand’s Twitter pages, browse products and purchase in-app.

Tips to Optimize Social Media Channels for Social Commerce

TIP 1: Connect product catalog.

Connecting the brand’s eCommerce product catalog on Facebook and Instagram is a quick and easy way to allow holiday shoppers to quickly discover products and share them directly with friends and family on social media. Brands can tag product catalogs directly from their Facebook and Instagram photos. This will allow holiday shoppers to discover more information about the products and link it directly to the eCommerce store for purchase.

TIP 2: Tag products frequently.

Make sure that all product ads are tagged correctly with the right price tags. Successful brands on social commerce use product tags as frequently as possible across various social media formats – feed, stories, reels, IGTV, captions, and Live). Product tags are not just an easy step for product discovery. It’s also necessary for a convenient purchase journey. As such, it should be an essential aspect of any brand’s social commerce strategy.

TIP 3: Design social media channels to reflect the brand.

Upon enabling social commerce on platforms like Facebook and Instagram, brands can have access to merchandising features. These features will help curate and customize the online shopping experience for holiday shoppers. Think of the brand’s social channels as an online storefront that reflects a festive holiday spirit. Product catalogs can be organized around seasonal moments and holiday promotions, including exclusive holiday product launches.

TIP 4: Make video ad content actionable.

Holiday shoppers engage more with shoppable videos that have actionable content. Brands need to use clear calls to action to inform consumers on how to shop for products on social media. Brands need to create engaging and actionable video ads about their products across social media features such as Reels on Instagram and Stories on Facebook throughout the holiday season.

How to set up a DPA social commerce campaign with Shakr

Shakr can help create memorable and actionable moments of discovery for any brand’s social commerce strategy with dynamic video ad campaigns. Video ads for the holidays can be made with product catalogs for social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok. With the help of Shakr’s video creation tool, brands can create hundreds of videos at scale, each unique to their individual product catalog.

The Shakr Advantage

·   Proprietary video rendering with full interoperability with Adobe After Effects

·   On-demand support for any data feed to version automatically to infinity

·   Proven API with a track record with top e-commerce, advertising technology, and social platforms.

In other words, brands are empowered to make hundreds and even thousands of video ads at scale, all of which can be hyper-personalized and localized with their target demographics.

Get started with these easy steps

Shakr can take your brand’s holiday video ads campaign on a massive scale. It doesn’t matter whether you have your own internal creatives capabilities or you just need help crafting a video ads campaign for a specific social media platform. Shakr can help your brand from the ground up by simply following these easy steps:

1. Schedule a discovery call to understand your goals, objectives, and creative strategy.

2. Shakr provides an end-to-end scaled creative campaign proposal for your brand.

3. Shakr’s Creative Lab Team will produce your bespoke video templates optimized for scale on social media, or we will help you onboard your own templates.

4. The DPA Campaign is set up through Shakr’s ads integration.

5. The campaign goes live, and Shakr helps you to analyze creative performance and iterations.

Shakr’s Best Practices with Video Ads

BEST PRACTICE 1: Halodoc

Brand Awareness through Dynamic Product Ads

Success Rates:

·     +42% Improvement in Cost Efficiency

·     +18% Increase in New Users

·     -24% Lower CAC than BAU Channels

As the leading health-tech platform in Indonesia, Halodoc offers teleconsultation with verified doctors, medicine purchase & delivery, hospital appointment booking services, and lab services. However, Halodoc’s agency M&C Saatchi Performance wanted to take their client to the next level by creating dynamic videos based on the nearest hospital for their audience.

Leveraging on Shakr’s dynamic ads solution, M&C Saatchi Performance and Halodoc served hyper-localized and targeted ads on Facebook and Instagram showing creatives containing the closest hospital to the targeted user through geolocation targeting and hundreds of personalized video creatives. Upon clicking on the ad, the user was taken to Halodoc’s platform to book an appointment. Click here to learn more about Halodoc’s success.

BEST PRACTICE 2: Sendle

Localized Creatives on Facebook and Instagram

Success Rates:

·     35% Decrease in Cost Per Lead

·     + 131% Increase in CTR

·     29% Decreased CPC

As a 100% carbon neutral shipping service, Sendle’s focus has always been on the success of small businesses. By unlocking the networks and volumes that are usually only available to bigger businesses, Sendle successfully provided the best prices for their customers. In addition, Sendle used Shakr Local to decrease their Cost Per Lead on Facebook and Instagram by 35%.

Sendle’s localized creatives proved to be an extremely effective marketing strategy on Facebook and Instagram. Compared to the control group, the localized creative drove a 35% decrease in Sendle’s Cost-Per-Lead. Along with the strong business outcomes, the localized creatives increased CTR by 131%. In addition, they decreased the CPC by 29%, proving that localizing your creatives can have outsized results compared to the small investment. Learn more about Sendle’s success story here.

BEST PRACTICE 3: Instyle Solar

Hyper Localized Campaign in Sydney, Australia

Success Rates:

·     + 81% Click Through Rate

·     45% Cost Per Lead

·     44% Cost Per Click

·     57% Leads from non-serviceable areas

Instyle Solar created a hyper-localized campaign in Sydney that saw their Cost-Per-Lead decrease by a massive 50% compared to non-localized creatives. Using Shakr Local at Scale, they created unique videos for each zip code in their serviceable area; they could increase the relevance of their ads to their audience by communicating that their areas were included in the New South Wales government’s solar rebate program.

By automating the production of hundreds of videos with Shakr, they could drive a Cost-Per-Lead reduction of 45%. In addition, Instyle Solar’s localized creatives caused an 81% increase in CTR and a 44% reduction in CPC. As an additional benefit, Instyle Solar decreased the number of leads from non-serviceable areas (Out-Of-Area) by 57%. To know more about Instyle Solar’s successful campaign, click here.

Increase your brand’s 2021 social commerce holiday sales with Shakr’s video ads!

Social commerce is becoming a big driver for holiday sales this year. Don’t let your brand get too late in the game. Get started on your social commerce strategy with Shakr’s video ads now.

References:

Hudson, E. (2021). Boost Sales with Social Commerce This Holiday Season – The BigCommerce Blog. Retrieved 30 November 2021, from https://www.bigcommerce.com/blog/holiday-social-commerce-facebook/#optimize-your-shops-on-facebook-and-instagram

Kohan, S. (2021). Online Sales For Thanksgiving And Black Friday Reach $14 Billion. Retrieved 30 November 2021, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/shelleykohan/2021/11/27/online-sales-for-thanksgiving-and-black-friday-reach-14-billion/

More than half of consumers will turn to social media for holiday shopping this year. (2021). Retrieved 30 November 2021, from https://www.thedrum.com/news/2021/10/18/more-half-consumers-will-turn-social-media-holiday-shopping-year

Season’s greetings: Retailers can expect 18% more social messages during the holidays. (2021). Retrieved 30 November 2021, from https://sproutsocial.com/insights/holiday-retail-data/

Social Commerce Platforms: 7 New Tools That’ll Supersize Holiday Sales. (2021). Retrieved 30 November 2021, from https://www.wix.com/blog/ecommerce/2021/11/social-commerce-platforms

Slye is an inbound marketing professional who specializes in growth-focused content marketing and omelets. He is the Content Marketing Manager at Shakr.

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