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The Evolution of Social Apps and Platforms

March 03, 2022
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At Code3, one thing becomes clear when we look at the work we've done with our clients over the past few years. As customers increasingly adopt innovative ecommerce solutions, social media sites have transformed into shopping platforms. Taking full advantage of the evolution of the social shopping landscape requires a comprehensive understanding of where we are now, along with a clear vision that positions your brand at the forefront of these five tidal trends.

Live shopping

Social media platforms constantly roll out new features that make online product purchases more seamless than ever before. As scrollers increasingly shop without leaving their feeds, adoption of these new tools is at an all-time high. Live shopping events have become one of the most popular and effective ways to take advantage of social media, with a scheduled online product demonstration or showcase where viewers can buy what they see right from your stream.

McKinsey Digital projects that in China, where this phenomenon has truly taken off over the past five years, live shopping will be worth nearly $425 billion by the end of 2022. While other nations have been slower to pick up on the live shopping trend, Coresight Research estimates a U.S. live shopping market of $11 million in 2021, projected to more than double to $25 billion by 2023.

What's so great about live shopping? According to McKinsey, this format has a staggering conversion rate of nearly 30% and can boost your brand's appeal among Gen Z audiences by 20% or more.

Augmented reality

If you're not already using augmented reality, you're behind the user experience curve. AR drives purchase decisions more than ever before, as customers prefer to shop from the comfort of their homes (or wherever else they happen to be). According to a study from the Digital Marketing Institute, 61% of consumers who shop online prefer buying from brands that offer AR experiences, such as the ability to "try on" different hues of makeup or testing how a piece of furniture will fit in the home. eMarketer predicts that more than 95 million social network users will use AR once a month or more in 2022.

At the same time, a report from Mobile Marketer says that just 1% of retailers currently use AR, and 52% said they aren't prepared to take advantage of this type of tech. You can set yourself apart from the crowd by investing in AR UX that targets conversions, especially as 5G tech makes these experiences available to a wider segment of social media users.

Multi-channel connections

The traditional marketing funnel as we know it is over. As Forbes noted in an article published in September 2021, customers no longer take a linear journey from awareness to purchase. In fact, as we reported in our Facebook webinar last year, social commerce sales increased by 35% in the U.S. in 2021 alone.

What does the new way of shopping mean for your brand? Devoting your entire budget to just one or two social media channels will limit your ability to connect with online audiences. Code3 advocates for our clients to expand their social media presence to build an audience that's ripe for conversion. 

Digital-first brands serve as early adopters for new platforms like TikTok. As more companies see the value of marketing to users of new social platforms, reaching your audience through these apps becomes even more competitive. Conversely, joining the party right away could get you noticed. 

Emphasis on video

Social shopping success requires the ability to grab the user's attention as they scroll. Video is one of the best ways to set your content apart from a seemingly endless stream of ads. The key components of a successful video campaign include:

  • An air of authenticity with natural product placement that doesn't feel forced (think user-created content)
  • The ability to capture the viewer in the first three seconds and ideally maintain engagement as long as possible
  • An element of interactivity, such as encouraging the viewer to share their own experiences with a hashtag or forward the clip to a friend

Code3 recently published a guide to instream video that can provide inspiration. We'll also be releasing additional resources in this key area throughout 2022.

Spotlight on TikTok

If you're not already on TikTok, what are you waiting for? The platform recently introduced a new always-on budget as a reward program for advertisers, making it one of the highest drivers of ad revenue for many online brands. The app has proven itself as a resource for audience engagement and communications, so it's the ideal place to experiment with ad placements, targeting, and other aspects of your campaign.

Partnering with Code3

When you work with Code3, you access the expertise of an agency that integrates the domains of commerce, creative, and media for maximum impact. You might feel that the new media landscape requires your brand to be in front of your audience at all times, no matter where they spend time online. As digital natives, we can help you achieve this seemingly impossible task by offering comprehensive services with proprietary insight and information that help you succeed in real-time. 

The team at Code3 can help you achieve your social shopping goals, no matter what they may be. We specialize in the full spectrum of social media platforms, including but not limited to Twitter, YouTube, Google, Pinterest, Snapchat, TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook. We can also help you optimize your company's performance on online marketplaces like Walmart, Amazon, and Instacart. Reach out today to schedule your consultation and learn how we can help you navigate the next evolution of social media.

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