In today’s digital age, social commerce has emerged as a powerful tool for brands to expand their reach, increase exposure and drive sales. As consumers increasingly turn to social media platforms for product discovery and recommendations, it is crucial for businesses to explore innovative ways to create shoppable experiences.
Below, 14 Forbes Agency Council members share creative social commerce ideas brands can leverage to captivate their audience, enhance customer engagement and boost sales. From immersive virtual shopping experiences to personalized social ads, these strategies are designed to strengthen brands’ connections with their customers and drive tangible business outcomes.
1. Focus On Gamification
Gamification is the next big innovation for social commerce. Tapping into the natural human desire for competition, achievement and reward makes it a powerful tool for increasing engagement and driving sales. Brands that successfully curate a fun experience that incentivizes customers to take action will increase brand loyalty, reach new audiences and stand out from their competitors. – Kim Lawton, Enthuse Marketing
2. Use AI-Powered Tools
Social commerce content on its own isn’t innovative, but it can be enhanced in innovative ways. AI-powered tools can deliver it faster and at scale while making it highly personalized. Leveraging livestreaming and emerging platforms can also boost its reach and exposure. These approaches can strengthen the value exchange between brands and their consumers, ultimately leading to more conversions. – Josh Campo, Razorfish
3. Leverage ‘Try-Before-You-Buy’ AR Experiences
One innovative social commerce idea is to leverage augmented reality for “try-before-you-buy” experiences. By integrating AR into their social media platforms, brands can allow customers to visualize products in their own setting or on themselves, which can increase engagement, confidence in purchasing and, ultimately, boost reach, exposure and sales. – Blake George, BMG Media Co.
4. Connect The Physical Location To The Online Experience
Brand owners can connect their physical locations to the online shopping experience. Showcasing in-store experiential video or content while the viewer is physically at the storefront location will guide the consumer to search for the product online. – Jessica Hawthorne-Castro, Hawthorne Advertising
5. Livestream Shopping Events With Influencers
Collaborate with influencers on shoppable livestream events that, ideally, offer the ability to purchase without leaving the platform. Influencers can showcase products in real time, answer questions and engage with viewers. This creates an immersive shopping experience, enhancing reach and exposure while driving sales through personalized recommendations and exclusive discounts. – Danielle Wiley, Sway Group
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6. Host A Virtual Pop-Up Shop
By hosting livestream events or virtual pop-up shops, brands can create an immersive and interactive environment where customers can explore, try out and purchase products in real time. Incorporating live Q&A sessions, limited-time exclusive discounts and interactive product demos may lead to enhanced engagement and more sales. – Tony Pec, Y Not You Media
7. Focus On Developing Social Proof
In the online world, reviews can make or break a purchase. That’s why social proof is going to be your biggest weapon when it comes to boosting sales and exposure. Encourage your customers to rave about your products, share and tag your brand. This will help you increase engagement and boost credibility. Further, you can use these positive reviews in posts, carousels and a ton of other ways. – Candice Georgiadis, Digital Day
8. Apply The Franchise Concept To Community Commerce
Apply the franchise concept to community commerce through influencer storefronts. The brand provides a verified storefront, and the influencer brings their following and authentic voice in their promotion of shoppable products and services. Consumer trust increases because of the transparency of the model, resulting in a value that accrues for the brand, the creator and the consumer! – Ray Lansigan, Publicis Groupe
9. Tell Interactive Stories With UGC
Leverage user-generated content and interactive storytelling to create an engaging shopping experience. You can create a highly engaging and personalized shopping journey by encouraging customers to share content related to your brand and incorporating it into interactive formats such as quizzes or AR. It will showcase authentic experiences, increase brand visibility and attract new customers. – Ajay Prasad, GMR Web Team
10. Do Experiential Marketing Events
Experiential marketing events, such as Decentraland’s Metaverse Fashion Week and other events, are a phenomenal way for brands to boost their shoppable experiences, reach and sales. These channels easily allow them to tap into new markets while providing innovative PR content. – Monique Tatum, BPM-PR Firm (Beautiful Planning Marketing & PR)
11. Maintain An Easy-To-Use Social Media Shop
Not that Facebook and Instagram will require using their checkout experience, but now is the time for brands to dive in and make sure their social media shops are set up with ease of use in mind. Then, of course, also ensure that you’re tagging products when posting them on social media so customers can easily find them. – Andrew Maffettone, BlueTuskr
12. Offer The Chance To Gain Exclusive Access To Products
Don’t offer your product for sale. Instead, give customers the opportunity to sign up for the waitlist or “apply” to gain access. This may seem counterintuitive, but this approach can build interest and anticipation. Offering interested parties an opportunity to “join the beta waitlist” is becoming common as new AI tech is released. This feeling of exclusivity creates a fear of missing out that can be a huge success driver. – Bernard May, National Positions
13. Develop Products Specifically For Your Followers
One innovative idea would be to create products specifically for your followers on Instagram, and then let them buy immediately from your feed. This lets brands take advantage of their existing audience. It also gives them a chance to generate more sales without having to invest in creating an entirely new platform. – Rudy Mawer, Mawer Capital LLC
14. Truly Merge Social Media And E-Commerce Concepts
Don’t use this marketing strategy as just another e-commerce platform. Merge the concepts of social media and e-commerce together. Don’t just display your merchandise. Create an experience where clients see how your items pair together or how they apply to daily life. Allow for comments and ask for input. You’ll sell more if people enjoy your posts and can interact with them. – Peter Boyd, PaperStreet Web Design
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