Changes in Social Shopping

Individuals use social media for a variety of reasons, but its influence extends beyond the screen into everyday life. It is a source of information and it influences people’s opinions, behaviors and purchases.1 One of the fastest-growing uses of social media is social shopping. Platforms continue to expand into e-commerce and introduce new features for brands, creators and individual users.

TikTok Shopping

TikTok is one of the fastest-growing social platforms and it has recently expanded into e-commerce.2 This year it introduced TikTok Shopping in the U.S., U.K. and Canada. Creators and brands now have a variety of options within the platform, including:

  • The option to create miniature storefronts within the app
  • Product links to highlight products within videos
  • Live shopping feature to connect creators with shoppers in real-time
  • New ad options including Collection, Lead Generation and Dynamic Showcase Ads
  • Behind the scenes support directly from TikTok and third-party commerce companies

YouTube Shopping

YouTube is a go-to source of product information, and 89% of viewers say YouTube creators give recommendations they trust.3 During November and December, YouTube partnered with creators to host the YouTube Holiday Stream and Shop. The event included exclusive access to new products, giveaways, discounts and more.4

YouTube shopping won’t end after the holiday season, though. The features are available to all creators, enabling them to:

  • Do live product drops
  • Provide exclusive discounts
  • Ask fans for feedback
  • And more

Pinterest Shopping

Pinterest was once a platform to gather inspiration for your latest DIY project. It’s now one of the largest players in social shopping. This year, the company has introduced shopping features including5:

  • Shop directly from Pins, on boards, from search and other inspiration
  • Create a Shopping List to save their favorite products within the app
  • Adding the Shop tab directly to the main user experience
  • Shop live through Pinterest TV
  • Expanded options for merchants to sell their products on the platform

Twitter Shopping

Twitter is unique from other platforms like YouTube and Instagram in that its content is focused more on written content and less on photos and videos. Recently, it has broken into the live streaming space and is bringing that technology to shopping with the addition of Twitter Live Shopping.6 This gives users the opportunity to:

  • Tune in to a live shopping experience with their favorite brands
  • Explore products and watch live streams seamlessly with the Shoppable Banner, Shop Tab and the Latest Tab
  • Continue watching live streams on merchant’s websites within an in-app browser

Facebook Shopping

Social media platform Facebook, now part of Meta, expanded its e-commerce presence during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic by introducing Facebook Shops. The company continues to expand offerings to provide users and businesses with new options7, including:

  • Live Shopping and Live Shopping Fridays
  • Facebook Shops to support small businesses selling online
  • Expanded Marketplace options that include local and non-local shopping options
  • Shops ads in the News Feed to provide a seamless shopping experience

Instagram Shopping

Instagram has been a pioneer in social shopping and began putting a bigger emphasis on shopping in the fall of 2020. The platform laid the foundation for other brands by adding the ‘Shop’ tab to the home screen, introducing product link options, providing in-app shopping experiences and more. The company is now adding augmented reality and visual search into the shopping experience.7

What Social Shopping Means for Brands

Social shopping presents a new challenge for brick and mortar small businesses. Online competition offers convenience and product options that in-store shopping does not. However, many customers appreciate in-person shopping and supporting local.

If you’re a savvy marketer, we encourage you to analyze areas of opportunity for your brand and take advantage of the new options. Choose platforms that resonate with your audience and start small by setting up a profile and exploring options one by one. If you have questions about what may work best for your brand, contact our team. We would love to help you utilize social media to grow your business.