Social Media Apps: The Shopping Malls of the Future


Facebook has been promoting its checkout feature along with the new player in social media commerce, Instagram, for the last couple of years.

It lets people buy from their favourite brands without ever leaving Instagram.

The native checkout ability fosters a seamless shopping experience for young consumers, who form the bulk of Instagram’s audience.

Social shopping is not a new phenomenon. In fact, it was a decade back that Mark Zuckerberg predicted the rise of social ecommerce.

While the uptake by brands has been slow, the current digital landscape is well-poised for social ecommerce to finally take off. 

Why You Should be Prepared for Social Ecommerce

Generation Z, people between the ages of 13 and 21, are constantly online. People across ages, in general, are spending more time online than ever before.

And the bulk of this online time is shared between Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Youtube, and Snapchat – all environments that thrive on visual content. 

Recent statistics show that social media makes a major chunk of brand awareness and marketing possible. Instagram alone claims around 60% of the brand awareness credits of its users. The pandemic has amplified online sales making social media an easy platform for customer growth.

The rise of video in digital marketing is well documented.

With technology such as 4G and 5G and the increased online presence of people owing to the pandemic, people in emerging economies such as India are driving growth in traffic on social media channels like never before. 

This wider adoption, backed by PWAs, is fertile breeding ground for social shopping to become the next big trend in the digital world.

PWAs are hybrid apps that combine social media functionality with ecommerce. Depop, which is a social fashion app, is the most popular example of the kind.  

There is the Navigability Factor, Too

It is not just Gen X and Gen Z’s love for social media that is keeping the market poised for social shopping. Ease of use has a role to play, too.

Mobile phones have overtaken desktops for online browsing and now also dominate the online shopping sector. Mobile accounts for over 72.9% of all eCommerce sales. 

Mobile navigation can be fiddly, and the payment forms can be hard to fill out. Social eCommerce solves that problem by letting people shop in a very familiar environment. The apps now have a direct shop link instead of navigating them to the main website for purchases. The hassle-free process encourages the users to purchase faster. The easier the process, the greater the converts!

For instance, Instagram’s Checkout feature lets you shop from your favorite brands without ever leaving the platform. Users know their way around Instagram, which makes shopping a seamless experience. 

Take the First-Mover Advantage

While brands might have started flirting with the idea of social shopping in developed economies, things are still at a nascent stage in markets such as India.

As a brand, taking the first-mover advantage can deliver immense benefits. Social ecommerce is, especially, a lucrative opportunity for smaller brands that find it hard to fetch traffic online.

If you can get your visual content strategy right, a sizeable increase in sales can be just around the corner. 

Focusing on the right social media based on your products’ target audience

Focusing on appropriate social media can help in making better converts than directionless marketing. For example, the products that are better marketed through influencing need to be marketed through Instagram and Tik Tok. These apps have great influencers who can supply you with the desired reaches and converts. 

A sizeable increase in sales can be just around the corner if you can get your visual content strategy right. 

So, while social media provides the entertainment it was built for, creating a seamless shopping experience makes it the future of shopping malls.

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