Social media is exploring the world of social commerce, using various platforms to advertise or assist in the actual buying and selling of products. Snapchat is the latest to test the waters and their parent company, Snap Inc., is currently testing two new advertising tactics: deep-linking and auto-fill.
While social commerce is a relatively new idea, recent years have seen Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest develop similar strategies creating a commerce infrastructure that has been quite successful. At its core, this type of commerce utilizes user ratings, referrals, online communities and social advertising to facilitate online shopping, as defined by Business Dictionary.
Regarding Snapchat, their tactics are designed to boost social commerce capabilities. According to PYMNTS, deep-linking allows marketing agencies to run interactive, direct response ads on Snapchat whereby users can swipe, tap, etc., to view product details and visit the item’s page — hopefully to make a purchase. Along with these new ads, Snapchat is testing out an auto-fill feature that will allow users to fill out payment information automatically with the contact information they gave Snapchat when signing up.
“Snap’s new features make its advertising platform more amenable to the type of direct response advertising that could make it a social commerce player,” said Yory Wurmser, Principal Analyst at eMarketer. “Mobile retail above all is about relevant, compelling images and simplicity,” which is essentially what Snapchat is all about.
Although social commerce has seen a meteoric rise in popularity in some geographic areas the past few years, Southeast Asia has seen the practice grow exponentially, where approximately 30 percent of all online sales last year occurred via social networks. Additionally, 80 percent of shoppers in that same region used social media to research and contact sellers.
In the U.S., however, just 7 percent of the roughly 287 million internet users use social media for purchases, claims GlobalWebIndex, a market research firm. Sumo Heavy, another research organization says the number is 18 percent. Either way, Americans appear to be significantly behind other parts of the world in that regard.
Social commerce has definitely proven itself to be a worthwhile venture for social media outlets and while Snapchat’s new tactics might take a little time to gain traction, online transactions certainly aren’t going away and they will most likely become popular with consumers, especially auto-fill.
Advertising via social media is becoming increasingly important as people are buying and selling goods and services more than ever. Merchants will want to consider various social methods to push their products but will also need to process payments while keeping sensitive data like credit card transactions and customer information safe. National Merchants Association is a merchant services provider that can help any business be successful and we look forward to seeing what we can do for you!