By Sammy Sadler, Agency Marketing Manager.
Social media is constantly evolving and changing the way we interact with everyday life and that certainly hasn’t slowed down in 2018. In retail specifically, social platforms are adapting to accommodate online purchases through their channel, shortening the purchasing journey and making it simpler for the customer.
From the rise of hyperlocal influencer marketing to Facebook’s Collection ads that can showcase a range of a retail products in one place, social media is exposing users to more brands than ever before.
So what are the most recent changes in social media that the retail industry should be aware of?
Last week, Instagram looked set to follow in Facebook’s footsteps as they began testing Collection ads on the platform. The photo-sharing app, which is already a popular option with fashion and beauty influencers, is looking to allow consumers to browse and purchase products without leaving the platform.
Big players in beauty and fashion industries including Birchbox and Revolve are amongst the first to test the new feature that will blend video with catalogue pages to promote products.
No word yet as to if/when this will roll out further but it’s one to watch for those with a product catalogue to showcase.
Paypal invoicing and payment options
Last November, Facebook and Paypal announced that they had launched an extension for Messenger to allow sellers based in the US to invoice buyers directly through the Messenger app.
Ideal for use with Facebook marketplaces, the invoicing option provides a convenient way for smaller business transactions through private messaging.
Although the extension is currently only available for US users, Facebook did introduce UK peer-to-peer payments last year through Messenger so fingers crossed.
Earlier this month, Snap Inc. launched a merchandise store through Snapchat which sparked conversation around a potential e-commerce platform within the app.
By scanning the Snap Code with the Snap Chat camera, users are able to browse the Snap Store and complete purchases without having to leave the app.
As of yet there has been no official comment on whether this option will be available for brands using the platform, however it could prove an effective way to reach a teen audience with ease.
Hosting collections of images ranging from fashion and beauty buys to travel infographics and DIY hacks, Pinterest is a visual dream for consumers hunting for their next purchase.
Already a popular option for retailers advertising their product catalogue, Pinterest expanded their features with the addition of Pincodes. A unique take on QR codes, Pincodes unlock specially curated boards created by brands and publishers that feature special collections and additional content.
Aside from Pincodes and their impressive visual search option, Lens Your Look, Pinterest does already offer users the opportunity to buy products via a partnership with ShopStyle. Through Shop The Look, consumers are exposed to more than 5 million products across 25,000 brands from fashion to home décor.
If you aren’t currently using Pinterest then 2018 should be the year that you start.
Liked this post? Check out our recent blog looking at the upcoming changes to the Facebook news feed and how they can spell opportunity for brands.