Thursday, April 18, 2024

Shaping the future with social commerce

By Brightcove Senior Director Solution Sales of APAC Greg Armshaw.

Brightcove Senior Director Solution Sales of APAC Greg Armshaw.
Brightcove Senior Director Solution Sales of APAC Greg Armshaw.

The shift to digital in Australia has been swift, as retailers and brands accelerated their investments in e-commerce in a bid to reach and retain customers.

Consumers too evolved, and as they became more accustomed to online shopping, their perceptions have changed and e-commerce is now widely embraced for its immediacy and convenience.

With the shift to purchasing online, digital paths to purchase are continuing to evolve. Social commerce – where the entire purchase journey takes place through social platforms – is growing rapidly, as shoppers shift their attention to social media platforms for their shopping experiences.

In Australia, it is estimated that one in every three minutes spent online is spent on social media, and an estimated 5.7 million Australians (ages 14 and older) will shop via a social network this year alone. With more and more time spent on social media, and consumer expectations riding high, it’s no wonder that retailers and brands are shifting their focus to social commerce.

Here are three key reasons why.

  1. Consumer expectations have changed

Consumers now expect retailers and brands to meet them where they are, and that is increasingly on digital devices. But with this comes the expectation that the digital experience is as frictionless and as seamless as it would be in-store. With the increase in time spent on social media, it’s only natural that consumers also expect to have an end-to-end shopping experience within these platforms.

Consumers are also looking for personalised experiences – and this is where video on social channels helps create the human touch. Audiences are looking for visual validation and inspiration to help them make decisions. Whether it’s shopping for a new dress or searching out a new power tool, consumers want to be able to be inspired and video serves as a great way to demonstrate how that dress would look, or what you could make with that new tool, to help them ‘click to cart’ and make the purchase.

  1. Social media platforms have evolved

From a commerce standpoint, social media was previously like digital window shopping – you could browse, but you would more often than not have to go to a website or instore to make the purchase. Now with changing preferences, social media platforms have had to evolve to the ones that are emerging today – where consumers can buy, sell and transact.

Many brands and retailers have recognised by creating a frictionless and end-to-end shopping experience within their social media channels, they are better able to facilitate the purchase, and improve conversion rates.

  1. Video for a complete retail experience 

Video content, too, has changed. Rather than being purely promotional, the lines are now blurred between entertainment and commerce. Retailers and brands are using video across every stage of the customer journey and streamlining the path to purchase within the platform. From pre-purchase product visualisations, interactive shoppable videos, explainer videos and in-cart recommendations, through to unboxing and post-sale videos, video content is being used at every stage of the online journey, to create a frictionless and progressive in-channel experience for the consumer.

Live streaming shopping has also been another way to increase consumer engagement and audience participation. Whether to launch a product, or run a sales promotion, many brands and retailers have embraced live stream shopping using influencer or user-generated content to create authenticity, drive a sense of urgency, and deliver a unique experience to strengthen relationships with new and existing consumers.

With the increase in video creation, retailers and brands have also evolved their technology stack and invested in online video platforms, such as Brightcove, to assist not only in the distribution of video and live streamed content to their social media channels, but also to keep their content secure, and use this technology to deliver video content to previously untapped markets such as China.

Social commerce is already critical

As our lifestyle becomes increasingly digital, it comes as no surprise that the lines between e-commerce and social media are blurring, and in some instances social commerce is taking over. With more and more features being added by social media platforms to enable transactions, and more platforms emerging to fill this particular need, the shopping mall of the future could fast be becoming at our fingertips.

About Greg Armshaw

As Senior Solutions Director for Brightcove across APAC, Greg consults with enterprises helping them create strategies to build businesses with video. He has more than 20 years of experience in advertising, digital marketing, and has rich experience in building consumer offerings in the enterprise brands and media sector in Asia. Greg is based in Singapore.

About Brightcove

Brightcove is a leading global provider of powerful cloud solutions for delivering and monetising video across every connected device. The company offers a suite of products and services that reduce the complexity and increase the profitability of publishing, distributing, measuring and monetising multi-screen video.

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