The past year has dramatically accelerated the social commerce shift to a digital environment over physical stores — by as much as 500%, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB). While some in-person shopping has regained momentum, online shopping is only continuing to grow.
If you want to stay ahead of the ecommerce game, it’s crucial to jump on the latest trends and features taking our e-wallets by storm. Read on to discover the top ecommerce trends for 2021 and beyond.
1. Shoppable Video
Brands can utilize user-generated content in shoppable videos, where users can watch other customers use a product and are able to immediately shop the product. Brands like Morphe upload UGC makeup tutorials with shoppable video:
Shoppable videos allow people to get details and purchase items directly from the video they’re watching by just tapping on the product being presented. This is extremely valuable considering the number of competitors trying to get your customers’ attention. And although it may seem high-tech, platforms such as YouTube allow you to add product links, surveys, and call-to-action buttons easily into your video content. Shoppable videos are perfect for embedding on your website or posting on your social media to convert customers quickly.
2. Instagram & Facebook Shops
Just over a year ago, Facebook launched Facebook and Shoppable Instagram. These features make it easy for businesses of all sizes to set up an online store directly on Facebook and Instagram — meaning that your customers can make in-app purchases, and you don’t need to hire developers to build an ecommerce website!
Instagram offers a world of possibilities for both brands and customers, becoming the go-to social commerce platform. As users scroll their feed for inspiration, the Shoppable Instagram functionality enables those with a high-buying intent to have a native shopping experience. Instagram Checkout solves the problem of redirecting customers from one place to another so prospective buyers can purchase in-app in just a few clicks.
With these features, Instagram reduces friction as brands can promote their products through Instagram Stories and posts, via a Shop on their profiles, or the “Explore” tab.
3. TikTok and eCommerce
TikTok is now more than a playful social platform where you can learn funny dance moves. Thanks to its fast growth, businesses have started to include TikTok in their social media strategies in an effort to engage with and leverage the platform’s over 500 million monthly active users. Fortunately, contrary to what you might think, there’s no need for a huge budget on TikTok – but you do need a healthy dose of creativity and spontaneity in order to succeed.
Much like on other social media platforms, using authentic and original content on TikTok is an excellent way to increase engagement. User-generated content can be used by brands on TikTok by posting customer videos experiencing a product. Content can be directly from TikTok or it can be pulled from other platforms. Pixlee can be used to help your brand employ the best practices and fully benefit from using UGC on TikTok.
The success of this app comes from its short-video format – the duration of these videos are just a minute long – and its capacity to recommend similar content to what people enjoy. Just like Instagram, TikTok is a super visual platform that helps its users to engage easily with brands and products in a lively and innovative environment.
TikTok has plans to keep growing as an ecommerce tool. In October 2020, the social platform partnered with Shopify so now brands can create highly targeted native video ads, add CTA buttons leading to a Shopify store, and add an advanced pixel to track conversions. Soon, there will be a feature to enable TikTok users to shop directly in the app. Imagine the possibilities!
4. How-To and Video Testimonials
Yakima Racks frequently publishes how-to and installation videos on YouTube for its customers, simplifying the entire shopping experience for its fans from initial interest to purchase and setup.
Even if businesses get people’s attention, they still need to build trust for their brand and products to achieve conversions. There are two extremely effective ways to show value: through video tutorials and social proof.
If people are interested in your brand, product or offer but aren’t ready to commit, How-To videos and tutorials can be a helpful way to provide value and give them a nudge. This kind of content is a great way to show the “need-to-know” info about your products and showcase their benefits to encourage customers to take the final step and add to their shopping cart. Unboxing videos, which are videos of customers unpacking a product and using it, are an exceptional way to promote brand and product awareness. It is prime user-generated content for brands that can influence viewers to buy a product.
But what if it still isn’t enough? Many people now look for reviews before buying to make sure they’re making the right decision. Social proof is critical when it comes to ecommerce, even if it comes from someone we don’t know. Plus, if reviews and testimonials come in a video format, it can boost its effectiveness. In the spirit of clarity, video testimonials need to be authentic. That means choosing someone that’s representative of your customer base and making sure you create a relaxed atmosphere for their testimonial to be natural and trustworthy.
Shopping is no longer a siloed activity for consumers – it’s woven into the fabric of entertainment, communication, and community. Brands that are authentically adding value through content and innovation can seamlessly create an ideal shopping experience for consumers alike.
Alejandra is part of the marketing team at Envato, the world-leading online community for creative assets, tools, and talent. When she’s not planning her next marketing strategy, Alejandra is probably writing, painting with watercolor, or exploring new languages.