In Trend #4: Why businesses without physical products should still offer virtual shopping, the 5th segment of her six-part series on The 5 Social Media Trends That Will Shape the Industry in 2023, Zoetica Media founder Kami Huyse talks about the growing virtual shopping marketplace, the platform opportunities it opens to your business, and the easy first step you can take to make it part of your sales and marketing plan.
1. The Market
“The market is growing for social online selling [and skyrocketed] during the pandemic,” Kami says, with research showing that “98% of people have bought something online.” Consumers want quick and in some cases even instantaneous receipt of goods and services. Doing business right on a platform offers them a frictionless way of interacting with you.
Whereas in the past businesses could only use social media to promote a product or service and then have to incorporate the additional step of sending customers to another location via a link to actually order and complete a purchase, now it’s become possible to sell directly from platforms.
2. The Opportunities
“The social media platforms don’t really like you sending people off of their platform,” Kami explains. “They will devalue the link posts [you share] and are less likely to show them as much unless they get popular or unless you buy advertising.”
To keep people on their site is a big reason why the major social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, and LinkedIn offer direct selling.
To see what virtual shopping looks like in real life, check out Kami’s livestream where she offers a detailed walk-through of some of the main social media platforms’ use of online shopping.
She also created a list of online shopping information, which you can access for free at bit.ly/SSSVirtualShop. You’ll find articles ranging from inspirational virtual shopping examples to suggestions for how to turbocharge your ecommerce site with advertising. There’s even an article on how to use LinkedIn to create a flagship product page. Get her list here.
3. Start With an Easy Plan
Businesses and entrepreneurs have choices when it comes to ecommerce platforms, with Shopify arguably the one that’s best known.
Kami believes that “Shopify is the easiest one to start with. You can create your products there, it has a website, you can create blog posts there; it’s kind of like a WordPress platform, but for products and services.I know a lot of people that are selling their courses and all that kind of stuff on Shopify.”
Make sure to select the right partner platform to go along with the social media platform you want to sell from. For example, Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, works with partner platforms BigCommerce, ChannelAdvisor, and Feedonomics, among others.
To learn the ins-and-outs of using Shopify, check out the recent Houston Social Media Breakfast featuring Veronica Jeans, Shopify expert and bestselling author of Shopify Made Easy, as she explains how to open a Shopify store to grow your business and be your own boss.
Six-part Series on The 5 Social Media Trends That Will Shape the Industry in 2023
• Overview: The 5 Social Media Trends
• Trend 1: Creative Professionals, Get Ready For the Artificial Intelligence Takeover
• Trend 2: Which Social Media Platforms to Use for Business in 2023
• Trend 3: Tips for Creating Attention-Grabbing Short-Form Videos the Easy Way
• Trend 4: Why You Should Offer Virtual Shopping For Your Business, Even If You’re in the Services Business
• Trend 5: Immersive media – Coming next