In the post-pandemic world, the retail landscape has been transformed by the rise of social commerce. The social commerce market is projected to reach $1.3 trillion in 2023, surpassing the $1 trillion threshold for the first time. This represents a 30.8% growth compared to the previous year when worldwide social commerce revenue totaled $958 billion.
“China, a pioneer in this domain, has set the stage for what the future of retail could look like globally,” says Ashley Dudarenok, founder of social media agency, Alarice, and digital consulting firm, ChoZan. “As businesses worldwide grapple with these changes, it is crucial to understand the intricacies of social commerce and learn from China’s experiences to adapt and thrive in this new environment.”
Recently naturalised as a Chinese, Dudarenok has been living and working in greater China since 2006, and today is serving multinationals and global brands as they learn from and adopt China’s unique social commerce model.
Tapping into the social commerce market offers potential for businesses looking to expand their reach and engage with customers in new, exciting ways. Dudarenok and her firms have carried out projects with companies like BMW, Johnson & Johnson, Crocs and more, in this domain. “By leveraging China’s expertise and lessons learned, businesses can unlock new opportunities and effectively navigate the retail landscape.”
This summer Alarice has teamed up with ChatLabs, a social experiences solutions provider, to develop a report aiming to assist businesses in adapting to social commerce and leveraging insights from China. The report offers an in-depth analysis of the trends, technologies, and strategies that define the rapidly evolving retail industry. Get your free copy of the China Social Commerce Report 2023 here.
So, what is Social Commerce?
Often thought as “the future of shopping”, Social Commerce blends social media interactions with e-commerce, crafting a unified and engaging shopping experience that attracts customers.
“The blend of shopping and social interactions boosts customer engagement and loyalty by fostering a dynamic environment,” says Michel Tjoeng, co-founder and SVP Sales & Marketing of ChatLabs. “Here, consumers can explore new products, exchange experiences, and be swayed by peer and influencer recommendations.”
Ultimately, social commerce reshapes the retail landscape by bringing the social element back into shopping, transforming transactions into meaningful interactions between customers and businesses.
Why Should Brands Embrace Social Commerce?
Social commerce platforms offer a means of increasing brand visibility by leveraging a variety of features such as brand accounts, advertisements, Key Opinion Leader (KOL) recommendations, and user-generated content shared among friends.
By utilising popular social media platforms and influencer marketing strategies, brands are able to reach new and existing customers. Adding e-commerce capabilities strengthens these connections even more.
Key Opinion Consumers (KOCs) have emerged as a crucial force in social commerce, owing to their relatability and perceived authenticity. To effectively harness the power of KOCs, brands should identify and engage with relevant KOCs who align with their target audience, product offerings, and brand values.
“Providing support and incentives, such as special access or exclusive products, can encourage KOCs to create and share authentic content about the brand, while maintaining their objectivity. Leveraging user-generated content from KOCs, such as unboxing videos and product comparisons, can serve as powerful social proof, helping to build trust among potential customers and drive sales.” says Dudarenok.
“Positive word-of-mouth from trusted KOCs can significantly impact consumer perception and purchase decisions, ultimately driving sales and brand loyalty.” She adds, “through strategic partnerships with KOCs and a focus on delivering high-quality products, companies can effectively leverage the growing influence of these relatable and trusted figures in the world of social commerce, fostering consumer trust and boosting brand loyalty.”
An example of this strategy in action is Pepsi’s recent campaign on Douyin. By showcasing endorsements not only from known celebrities but also KOCs along with engaging posts, the brand garnered a staggering 1.35 billion views on March 24th, 2023.
This demonstrates the potential of social commerce platforms to amplify a brand’s reach and strengthen its connection with consumers, driving growth and success in the retail landscape.
Better Consumer Experience
Enhancing the customer experience through social commerce platforms enables a smooth and seamless customer journey. These platforms can boost customer loyalty and satisfaction by delivering personalised and engaging shopping experiences tailored to each user’s preferences and interests.
For instance, Louis Vuitton employs its WeChat mini program as a primary touchpoint to drive traffic and enhance customer communication. Their mini-programs have features such as online fashion shows, online shopping, virtual try-ons and 1-on-1 customer service.
By utilising this platform, the brand establishes a strong connection with its audience and offers an immersive shopping experience.
Businesses create memorable shopping encounters by incorporating interactive features and offering responsive customer service. By doing so, they foster customer loyalty and encourage repeat purchases, ultimately contributing to the brand’s long-term success in the competitive retail landscape.
To stay competitive, companies must focus on streamlining logistics and simplifying online processes. Optimising e-commerce platforms is crucial, as is providing seamless payment options. Enhancing customer support will also ensure a smooth and enjoyable online shopping experience for customers.
China’s social commerce further development in 2023 offers businesses a chance to capitalise on digital marketplaces. Alarice and ChatLabs’ China Social Commerce Report 2023 provides insights and strategies for navigating the landscape, consumer segments, and trends shaping digital business.
Don’t miss the opportunity to tap into the social commerce market. Access the report today for the knowledge and tools to succeed in this competitive industry. Download your free report here.
Alarice is a social media agency that develops tailored digital marketing strategies for the China market and executes them. It does consumer and market research to create these strategies, manages brand social media communities on WeChat, Red, Weibo, Douyin and others, develops content, executes campaigns and works with influencers and livestreamers. Learn more www.alarice.com.hk
About ChoZan 超赞
ChoZan 超赞 is a China digital consultancy backed by research and trend watching. It executes consulting projects, educates and provides resources for in-house marketing and e-commerce teams to aid their success in China. ChoZan also extensively serves global multinationals and tech companies going through digitalisation and learning from China. ChoZan: learn for China, learn from China. Contact is via www.chozan.co
About Ashley Dudarenok
Ashley Dudarenok is a Chinese serial entrepreneur, award-winning digital marketing professional and author. Recognised as a “guru on digital marketing and fast-evolving trends in China” by Thinkers50. Connect with Ashley via https://www.linkedin.com/in/ashleydudarenok/.
At ChatLabs, they’re always looking for innovative ways to help brands deliver exceptional customer experiences. They have developed a new solution, SXP, the winner of the LVMH Innovation Award for Data & AI, that uses AI to create hyper-personalised journeys for each customer. SXP raises the standards of social commerce and takes personalised experiences to the next level. It allows brands to combine social media and e-commerce, and effectively communicate their stories and values. By leveraging China’s leadership and utilising AI-driven strategies, they aim to transform how brands engage and nurture loyalty with consumers. Learn more www.chatlabs.com
About Michel Tjoeng
Michel is the Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at ChatLabs. He is an energetic, creative, and experienced e-commerce and digital marketing professional with 20 years of digital experience across agencies, startups, consulting firms, and major consumer brands. Connect with Michel on Linkedin via https://www.linkedin.com/in/micheltjoeng/.
Name: Sabba Irfan, Head of Marketing at Alarice
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