What is Social Shopping?

Social shopping is what it sounds like. It’s online shopping with social media zest. And it’s eCommerce magic as social commerce:

✔️  Keeps shoppers’ attention

✔️  Delivers short, authentic video that converts

✔️  Turns first-time shoppers into repeat shoppers

The way brands and shoppers connect is forever changed with social commerce. Stale, hollow transactions are being replaced with dynamic, immersive experiences. Brands like Ted Baker and Faherty are using platforms like HERO® to bring the power of social shopping to eCommerce. Here’s what you need know about social shopping:

On Tedbaker.com, Stylist Millie shows how the fabric flows on her favorite dress and provides styling recommendations.

SHOPPERS USE SOCIAL MEDIA TO EXPLORE NEW BRANDS AND PRODUCTS

Social shopping ties all the ends together and closes the circle. It empowers shoppers to find, browse, and engage with products. But most importantly, social commerce lets shoppers buy what they want as they come across it. And it provides social proof through user-generated content.

The purpose of all this is to transform transactional eCommerce into bond-building social commerce. There are two major players — shoppers and brands:

SHOPPERS discover brands and buy products on social media platforms like Instagram, TikTok, or Facebook. Shoppers then explore with hashtags, shop tabs, and more — depending on which platform they choose.

Social shoppers then engage with brands and fellow customers through:

  • One-to-one chats and consultations
  • One-to-many product demos or tutorials
  • User-generated content (UGC)
  • Expert-generated content
  • Public and private community discussions

BRANDS curate highly authentic and valuable social content to engage with shoppers. And luxury fashion and beauty brands are quick to catch on.

IRL shopping empowers customers to touch, see, and try products. Think product testers, dressing rooms, and encounters with product experts.

Meanwhile, social shopping gives brands the ability to connect with shoppers online in the same way they would connect IRL. It’s more than a boring transaction with no human connection. Social shopping tosses the static product photos and replaces them with:

  • Bursts of scrollable, shoppable videos
  • Real-time product demos and testers
  • Modeling
  • Testimonials
  • How-to instructional content
  • Recommendations from shoppers and brand experts
  • And more

Brands that invest in smart platforms like Stories can offer so much more to their shoppers. Now brands can highlight best-selling products, shoot videos, curate content, and put product experts on stage. Social shopping with Stories makes shoppers twice as likely to keep engaging with brands. It’s powerful, and shoppers embrace it with open arms.

On Fahertybrand.com, William and Jess show how to style the Faherty Pool Dress.

❌  TRANSACTIONAL ECOMMERCE     ✅  SOCIAL COMMERCE

Social shopping is the future of eCommerce. This is why it’s important brands understand how it’s different from traditional eCommerce. Here’s a side-by-side comparison:

Social Shopping

Engaging

Dynamic

Multi-dimensional

Emotional

Translates IRL to digital

Product expert = MVP

Traditional eCommerce

Clinical

Static

One-dimensional

Transactional

Outdated

Influencers = MVP

The differences are astounding. And it’s not surprising that almost half of all online shoppers won’t buy a product if there’s no UGC or video content. In addition, social shoppers are more likely to trust product experts and friends than influencers.

SOCIAL COMMERCE TOOLS ARE CHANGING THE WAY SHOPPERS AND BRANDS CONNECT

Great brands invest in every point along the shopping journey. Using smart tools like Hero’s one-to-one, one-to-many, and virtual clienteling features, brands are bringing the power of what makes IRL shopping special into the online shopping experience.

Klarna and Hero have recently joined forces to bring best of in-store experience to social shopping for its 90m consumers, making online shopping more social, interactive and ultimately more human.

Ready to find out more about social shopping? Hero will help to set your online store apart from the crowd, bringing customers the personal touch of in-store shopping and empowering your store associates to create a first-class retail experience for every customer. Get started now.

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About Hero®

Add the “IRL” experience to your online store, with the #1 virtual shopping platform. Headquarted in London and New York. Hero is trusted by brands including Levi’s, Nike, Herman Miller and LVMH.