The Days of Shoppable Media Are Upon Us

Holly Pavlika

SVP, Marketing & Content at Collective Bias
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This article by Collective Bias SVP of Marketing and Content, Holly Pavlika, originally appeared on iMedia Connection.

Social media has long since captured the attention of billions of consumers who often spend hours on these sites daily. With user propensity for perusal seemingly built-in to networks like Facebook and Instagram, these sites appear primed for shoppable media. The core of sharing and connecting with people on social media will always remain, however, 2016 will see an evolved commerce dimension of purchasing products directly from social posts.

GlobalWebinex conducted a survey to identify social media user interest in shopping on social. While the numbers may seem low at first glance, keep in mind the relative size of user bases on each platform and how they represent a big opportunity for brands:

  • 9 percent of Facebook users are interested in social commerce, equaling 140 million members who are on the site daily.
  • 14 percent of Instagram users want buy buttons, which represents an audience of 56 million.
  • 12 percent of people on Twitter, a universe of 37 million, expressed interest in shoppable media.

The sizable reach and audiences for these platforms is undeniable, but let’s take a closer look at how Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook, specifically, are all getting on board with buyable media:

Twitter’s collections pages

Twitter is testing a new way to highlight and organize relevant tweets about products and places on dedicated pages called Twitter collections. Consumers crave as much information as they can gather to help make informed purchase decisions, so these additional images and video content combined with product descriptions, prices and buy buttons or links to retail sites could be an asset to social commerce. Twitter collections will enable shoppers to browse curated tweets from the influencers they care about and get more information about the products they want to purchase.

Pinterest’s buy buttons

Pinterest’s mobile app offers buying functionality to pinners through a blue “Buy it” button that appears alongside the red “Pin it” button for buyable items. Satisfied with using shoppability as a means to improve user experience, Pinterest doesn’t take any kind of fee from the sale and actively works with credit card processors to keep payment information secure. With an average order value of $123.50 on Pinterest, it’s not hard to see why brands will start broadening their approach and seriously considering how to monetize their social presence in 2016.

Facebook’s shopping tabs

There are more than 1.55 billion users on Facebook, of which 1.01 billion are daily users. No wonder there are also 2.5 million advertisers on Facebook, even though Facebook click-through rates for retail advertisers are less than one percent. According to eMarketer’s latest estimates, Facebook’s ad revenue per U.S. user reached $48.76 in 2015. Facebook is a huge pond for brands and retailers to fish from. In fact, 75 percent of brands use Facebook advertising to promote their posts.

Facebook is currently testing shoppable sections by introducing a “shop” tab that will sit alongside the “about” section of a brand’s Facebook page. Social content ads that combine the power of high-quality influencer content with the sheer scale of Facebook can further expand digital commerce. Imagine taking high-performing influencer content and applying buy buttons on platforms such as Facebook and Instagram.

Brands hire influencers all the time to curate collections, and they often depend on these trendsetters to move product, influence new audiences and keep the brand relevant. This year, we’ll see even more notable traction for shoppable media. Major brands like Best Buy, Adidas, and PacSun have already begun testing the waters of social commerce buttons on Twitter. Major retailers are beginning to embrace buyable pins as well.

Ready for social commerce?

After surveying 2,100 companies, “Harvard Business Review” found that only 12 percent of those using social media believed they were doing so effectively. Ask yourself which camp your social program’s R&D falls under. With 2016 already underway, don’t let your business become a Luddite to the inevitable social commerce revolution. If buyable media is relevant to your company, whether it be a major retail brand or small business, now is the time to start preparing.

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Holly Pavlika

SVP, Marketing & Content at Collective Bias

Holly oversees marketing and PR. Holly, also a blogger, founded MOMentumNation while serving as the Executive Creative Director and Managing Director at Big Fuel, a pure play social media agency. She is an award-winning creative marketing industry veteran who was recognized in 2012 by Klout as the “most influential agency person” and uses her voice for social good with 10X10 Educate Girls, Every Mother Counts, Global Poverty Project and the UN Foundation Shot@Life campaign.