The covid pandemic has sparked more consumers to turn their attention towards social media. In addition to keeping in touch with each other, consumers also continue to be inspired by brand content through social media, pay more attention to more brands, and at the same time deepen their online shopping habits. According to Facebook research, nearly 50% of consumers have shopped through social media; 67% said they would increase their spending when engaged in conversational commerce, be it with brands, SMEs or mom-and-pop sellers, the social media community has become an indispensable exposure channel, and even one of the main platforms for interacting with customers and cultivating cult-like brand following.

Customer experience is king, Social media commerce pattern changes

Author of “This Is Marketing: You Can’t Be Seen Until You Learn to See”, Seth Godin says: “You can use social media to turn strangers into friends, friends into customers and customers into salespeople.” Social media can not only attract fans and increase social commerce conversions, but also create brand advocates to sell for you. This year, social media leader, Facebook, has accelerated a series of customer-experience (CX) -oriented launches including  “Facebook Shops, Instagram Shopping” and other social commerce channels in face of the pandemic.  

In the past, consumers discovered new online shopping platforms or brands through search engines. With the development of social commerce, coupled with the rise of micro-influencers, KOLs, and local group buyers, the entry points to online sales channels have gradually expanded from large-scale search engines to individual level, thereby accelerating sales through information diffusion across the social media community. 

Among them, the more sensible change is that communication apps such as Facebook Messenger and LINE have become options for consumers’ shopping channels, nowadays serving the common “conversational commerce” in real practice. Previously, sales channels of “individual sellers” largely arose from large shopping platforms (eg. PChome) or offline transactions. With the development of messaging apps to complement social media, sellers are increasingly shifting their sales channels towards Facebook Messenger, LINE, or other messaging apps, etc., to allow for “conversations” in enabling their customers to place orders.

Social media for new retail to upgrade the shopping experience

Now that social media has become the main channel for brand exposure, do consumers still need to be guided to other places if transactions could be completed directly on social media?

The fragmentation of consumer experience is not only caused by simply being online or offline, but also the spectrum of shopping experience continues to be at play when it comes to online consumption. For example, when you see a piece of clothing you like on Facebook, the need to click on the official website or shopping platforms such as Shopee to place an order, and the cumbersome process of order placement with various information sections to fill in will inevitably exhaust consumers’ shopping desire, ultimately becoming an exponent to abandon orders and a killer to transfer orders.

Rather than allowing customers to click into the website to consume, it is better to think one step ahead of customers and help them through the shopping journey. In particular, simplifying the shopping process and eliminating customer doubts is the best solution to increase the conversion rate! Think back to when you are in a physical shop, aren’t you often more willing to take out your wallet after having questions answered by having been taken care of personally by the shopkeeper? 

In the same way, this shopping experience should also be transferable to apply on social media platforms. When a customer is interested in a product online, have automated tools set up to send recommendations via comments or direct messages. See it through to focus all shopping possibilities within the private message window with the customer while maintaining warm hospitality through conversation. In turn, this is how moving the conversation from in-person to online; and using brand language to provide faster, customized and personalized services, is exactly the direction that sellers should consider.

social media shopping experience

Figure 1. SHOPLINE helps sellers create a brand new social media shopping experience

SHOPLINE launches a new “social Commerce solution” to upgrade shopping experience 

But how do you do it? Relating to the obstacles encountered by individual sellers, independent brands, SMEs, and even physical stores who want to shift into social media e-commerce, SHOPLINE’s global e-commerce platform has launched a new social commerce solution to target social media business opportunities. Coupled by SHOPLINE’s original e-commerce CRM, order management system, payments and logistics integration, etc., we can help sellers create the ultimate social media shopping guide to facilitate the checkout through social media process, establish a complete social commerce experience, and lead sellers into the era of social media retail. 

 The Social Commerce solution has three distinctive features. From SHOPLINE Live, Chatbot to Message Center, This streamline between each stage of the complete shopping process, from live interaction to a private messaging guide steering towards checkout, etc., provides an all-rounded social media shopping experience! Let’s take a deeper look at the three features of the  Social Commerce solution:

1. Livestream shopping: See it and Swipe 

Livestream Shopping Demo

Figure 2. Livestream Shopping Demo 

Is it enough to simply run a Facebook fan page or Instagram? To grab consumers’ attention nowadays, livestream broadcast is a very direct and powerful medium. Especially, livestream shopping is a new direction that many brand sellers are eager to try.

SHOPLINE’s Livestream Shopping provides a quick ordering function of Facebook Live +1. While watching Facebook’s live broadcast, comments can automatically trigger the Facebook Messenger’s welcome message to send out, and reply to the product keywords and quantity through automatic prompts, ultimately directing consumers to add items to the shopping cart. For consumers who are relatively unfamiliar with livestream shopping, SHOPLINE also provides a “manual order placement” function, which allows the seller admins to quickly respond to customer needs and manually create orders. In this manner, every comment can be addressed, and all orders will not be missed!

In addition to the live broadcast on Facebook, SHOPLINE has also exclusively developed a “web-based independent live broadcast room” and the “mobile phone exclusive broadcast app”, so that fans who are not Facebook can watch the live broadcast through the independent live broadcast rooms for quick interaction and more intuitive shopping! What’s more, the mobile phone broadcast app can facilitate sellers to review the featured products, customize the e-banner, select beautifying filter effects and other effects. Using this mobile phone broadcast app with one device in hand, livestream can be launched anytime and anywhere. To reach more potential customers, the “simultaneous livestreaming” function of the app allows for streaming via both the independent app and Facebook at the same time. 

Livestream Shopping Guide Flowchart

Figure 3.  Livestream Shopping Guide Flowchart

In addition to meeting the livestream needs of different social media channels, the system also has a complete live broadcast room management, which enables multiple live broadcast rooms simultaneously, and adding products to the live broadcast room. When recommending products online, the livestream host can simply click the “Broadcast” button and the system will automatically push and broadcast shopping/product information to the live broadcast room, eliminating the need for seller admins to repeatedly paste product links, shopping information, organize messages and other customer service processes during the livestream broadcast.

Live broadcast room management

Figure 4.  Live broadcast room management 

2. Chat shopping: buy while chatting

Chat Shopping

Figure 5. Chat Shopping 

As mentioned earlier, the era of “conversational business” has come! According to a Facebook’s IQ survey, 45% of consumers direct message brands to ask about product-related content, and the rest direct message for shopping-related inquiries. But few sellers have a 24-hour online customer service team in place.

As such, chat shopping focuses more on how to guide the conversion of high potential customers through automated messages. SHOPLINE’s Social Commerce provides script settings for chatbots, and chatbots with inbuilt templates. 

The main reasons for consumers to DM brands

Figure 6. The main reasons for consumers to DM brands in “conversational commerce” (image from Facebook IQ)

General chatbots are widely used to direct different customer behaviors through script sets. Chatbot Commerce, however, focuses on guiding customers to shop, embed product carousel cards into private messages, and call out products in the store through keywords, thereby supporting the customer to browse and shop freely. 

The establishment of chatbots requires a lot of time and creativity to design guided script sets. In order to help sellers who adopt chatbots for the first time to get started quickly, SHOPLINE provides an inbuilt version that uses template features to build a chat script. For example, the welcome message template for the customer’s first message in conversation.

Send product shopping links through chatbot scripts

Figure 7. Send product shopping links through chatbot scripts

Inbuilt chat script templates

Figure 8. The inbuilt templates allow you to easily complete the chat script

3. Message Center

Message Center

Figure 9. Message Center

“Each comment or private message is an opportunity to convert orders!” 

Based on this concept, the Message Center provides a one-stop management platform that connects Facebook Messenger, LINE, online store private messaging functions, and integrates Facebook post comments. Combined with these streamlined channels, customer service task allocation, preset quick responses and other functions, the platform allows sellers to efficiently manage messages from multiple social media channels. 

“So how do I turn the conversation into an order?” The inbuilt “instant add to cart” in the Message Center solves the problem of manual recording of orders from private messages. Your customer service admin can quickly add the products, through the platform, to the shopping cart, and choose the logistics method for the customer, and directly complete the order for the customer.

At the same time, customers will also receive an order confirmation message on Facebook Messenger, and they can reconfirm the order content and edit the delivery address and other information. Now, if your shop has also set up the additional feature “Order Status Update Chatbot”, exclusively developed by SHOPLINE, that keeps a series of shopping processes from order placement to pick-up notification in the private message dialogue; you can actively accept orders when the rest has already been taken care of! 

In addition to the above, the Message Center has a powerful function that is “customer identification”. Although the establishment of a brand’s official website can maximize the grasp of customer information, customers will still contact the brand through different channels (Facebook, LINE, or other places), thereby making it more difficult to identify whether the customer is an existing follower of the brand.

As long as there is a conversation record with the customers, the Message Center can automatically track their membership information by entering the mobile phone number or email. Hence in future conversations with the respective customer, the system can identify membership level, customer tags, and order history within seconds, overall accelerating customer service efficiency. 

For more detailed feature introduction, please refer to: https://shopline.tw/social-commerce/features

 After reading the above introduction, we believe you will have a deeper understanding of the three major features of social commerce solutions.

In addition to a complete social commerce solution, new social media sellers who choose SHOPLINE can also use SHOPLINE’s powerful online shop to capture all online sales channels in one go! Whether you want to become an e-commerce expert, in-store expert or omnichannel expert, you can create your own unique brand management style through the integration of systems and member information!

Regardless of whether you are already on social media or not, sign up for our free shop opening seminar to learn more about social media shopping!