Before the pandemic, it was mainly the younger generations who drove social shopping, but COVID-19 propelled social media to all generations.
Over 50% of global shoppers are now likely to buy on social media. the Generation Pay Worldpay report ofFISfound that for Gen Z, Gen Y and Gen X, between half (51%) and two-thirds (67%) bought something through social media.
Social media is no longer just a marketing tool for retailers, it is now also a transactional tool. The old buy buttons, which are used to redirect the customer to the retailer’s website, are no longer what customers are looking for. They slow down the buying process and don’t provide the best user experience.
Instead, social media companies need in-app shopping features that enable payments without leaving the experience.
Facebook Shops is one such example, and it allows retailers to upload product catalogs and accept payments from customers who don’t leave the experience, which means the process is seamless and frictionless. Next year, more and more tech vendors will partner with payment experts to develop social media as a buying channel.
Since the start of the pandemic, the number of buyers using the ‘buy now, pay later’ (BNPL) option has also increased significantly. BNPL allows the buyer to buy a product and only pay when they receive the items or by paying in installments. Think of it as a miniature point-of-sale line of credit.
It is already the fastest growing payment method in the world, with more than 70% of buyers using it or considering using it. Retailers are now noticing that BNPL is helping to increase average customer spend, making it a crucial opportunity to see increased revenue. Currently, the most popular BNPL methods are Klarna, Affirm, and Afterpay, and these platforms have prioritized the user experience, which allows the buyer to pay and agree to terms without too much additional friction. to make payment.
More and more companies are improving their offer by adopting subscriptions. It’s not just about digital media and food anymore, other retail sectors have turned to using subscriptions as the basis of their business model, from fashion to cleaning products and coffee. . This new method of consuming goods has become increasingly popular during the global pandemic.
Subscriptions are convenient for consumers, allowing access and security, but they can also serve as a discovery channel, exposing customers to new items and products that they might never have seen or experienced otherwise. Companies that collaborate with other complementary products or services as part of an organized offer also benefit by being able to retain and expand their customer base. Some retailers are also now exploring ways to use smart speakers and the Internet of Things (IOT) to automatically restock items.
Another big trend that we plan to take off is voice commerce. There are now more IOT devices in homes than ever before and retailers can use them to interact and engage with their customers.
These devices are becoming more and more conversational, allowing them to ask a buyer about their skin tone before recommending a purchase for makeup, for example. They act as a personal assistant, making the customer feel at ease and at ease, while providing a user-friendly experience. Voice remains the most natural way to interact and engage with customers and retailers are starting to realize this and optimize their channels to take advantage of it. Buyers can also shop using voice assistants while performing other activities, making it a convenient way to purchase items.
The pandemic has quickly changed the way retailers will operate forever. Businesses will now need to merge the physical aspects of industry with digital as the ways people buy become more and more intertwined.
Ecommerce has the ability to support, not replace, the retail store, and now is the time for businesses to reinvent retail and bring the immersive shopping experiences of the future into the present. .