From Social Ads to Social Shopping: How are social platforms innovating?

Social platforms play an increasing role in the buying journey. They inspire, generate traffic to the brands website and soon even, will we be able to finalise the act of purchase! So what are these new features that make the customer experience smoother?

From the product catalogue to the online store

The health crisis linked to Covid-19 has accelerated innovations in social shopping , with social media platforms wishing to support merchants in the pursuit and development of their activity despite the closure of stores. “Social networks were natively created to connect people, but they also facilitate more and more exchanges with brands”, notes Guillaume Cavaroc , Business Director, retail & e-commerce at Facebook .

At the start of 2020, Pinterest was already announcing new features for brands with the possibility of integrating the entire product catalog via a mass flow. Carrefour was thus the first brand to up-load thousands of product sheets on the platform. This allows each user to fully consult the characteristics of a product: description, availability in stock and dynamic price display.

 “Our search engine, which uses artificial intelligence and visual analysis, can then trace the right pins to users based on their ongoing searches, with 97% of searches on Pinterest not including brand names , Country Manager of Pinterest France, Southern Europe & Benelux. In this “drive-to-brand” logic , Mark Zuckerberg announced in May 2020 the launch of “Facebook Shops” in beta version.

Available on Facebook and Instagram, this new feature allows brands to create their online store for free with many customisation possibilities: choice of colours, cover image, category management, etc.“The objective is to offer a new shopping experience, mobile first, where everyone can consult the different brands’ collections and keep their favourite products on one and the same wish list.

Exchanges between brands and customers are also facilitated, today via Messenger and Instagram, tomorrow surely with WhatsApp, to seek advice, get help on an order, etc. ”, explains Guillaume Cavaroc. The Facebook ecosystem could therefore manage end-to-end customer relations in the long term, with the payment functionality that is already available in the United States.