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Social commerce trends to look out for

In recent years, social commerce has emerged as a powerful force in the world of digital marketing – one of the cornerstone strategies for ecommerce. With the rise of social media influencers and the increasing popularity of online shopping, social commerce has become an essential strategy for businesses looking to connect with their target audience and drive sales. As we look at what’s been happening in 2023, it’s important to understand the latest trends in social commerce. In this article, we’ll explore the top social commerce trends you need to be aware of in 2023, going into 2024.

The rapid advancement of technology and the changing consumer behaviour have made social commerce a critical aspect of business strategy. The integration of social media and ecommerce has opened new avenues for businesses to engage with their customers and drive sales. As we move closer to 2024, it becomes increasingly important for businesses to stay updated with the latest trends and developments in social commerce. 

1. Rise of social media influencers

One of the biggest trends in social commerce is the continued rise of social media influencers. These individuals have built a loyal following on platforms like Instagram, YouTube and TikTok, and have the power to influence their audience’s purchasing decisions. In 2024, we can expect to see more brands partnering with social media influencers to promote their products and services. This trend is driven by the fact that consumers trust recommendations from influencers more than traditional advertising. As a result, businesses are investing more in influencer marketing to reach their target audience and increase sales. 

The power of micro-influencers

In addition to the rise of major influencers, we’re also seeing a growing trend of micro-influencers. These are individuals with a smaller but highly engaged following. They’re often seen as more relatable and authentic, which can lead to higher engagement rates and more effective marketing campaigns. This tactic is likely to increase in popularity in 2024.
Influencer marketing strategies

As businesses continue to invest in influencer marketing, it’s important to develop effective strategies. This includes:
  • Identifying the right influencers who align with your brand values 
  • Creating engaging content 
  • Measuring the success of your campaigns.
In 2024, having more sophisticated influencer marketing strategies that leverage data and analytics will be important to keep the momentum going.

2. Shoppable posts and stories

Another trend that gained traction in 2023 is the use of shoppable posts and stories on social media platforms. Shoppable posts allow businesses to tag products in their social media posts, making it easy for users to click on the tags and make a purchase. Similarly, shoppable stories enable businesses to add product stickers to their stories, allowing users to shop directly from the stories. This seamless integration of shopping into social media platforms makes it convenient for users to discover and purchase products, driving sales for ecommerce businesses. 

The rise of social shopping

Social shopping is becoming increasingly popular as consumers look for more convenient and engaging ways to shop. This involves using social media platforms not just for discovery but also for purchasing products. In 2024, we can expect to see more businesses leveraging social shopping to drive sales and enhance the customer experience. 

Optimising shoppable content

As businesses continue to use shoppable posts and stories, it’s important to optimise this content to drive conversions. This includes:
  • Using high-quality images 
  • Writing compelling captions 
  • Using effective call-to-actions.
In 2024, we can expect to see more businesses investing in creating and optimising shoppable content to maximise their social commerce efforts.

3. Augmented Reality (AR) shopping experiences

Augmented reality (AR) is revolutionising the way consumers shop online. In 2024, we can expect to see more businesses incorporating AR technology into their social commerce strategies. AR allows users to visualise products in their own environment before making a purchase.

For example, furniture retailers can use AR to allow users to see how a couch would look in their living room. This immersive shopping experience not only enhances the customer’s journey but also reduces the likelihood of returns, as users have a better understanding of the product they are purchasing. 

The impact of AR on consumer behaviour

AR is not just changing the way consumers shop, but also their behaviour. By allowing users to visualise products in their own environment, AR can help reduce uncertainty and increase confidence in purchasing decisions. In 2023, we can expect to see more research on the impact of AR on consumer behaviour and how businesses can leverage this to drive sales. 

AR and mobile shopping

With the increasing use of mobile devices for online shopping, AR is becoming an essential feature for mobile commerce. Businesses can leverage AR to provide a more interactive and engaging mobile shopping experience. In 2024, we can expect to see more businesses incorporating AR into their mobile commerce strategies to enhance the customer experience and drive sales.

4. Social commerce on messaging apps

Messaging apps like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and WeChat are not just for communication anymore. They have become powerful platforms for social commerce. In 2023, businesses increasingly used messaging apps to connect with their customers and drive sales. These apps offer features like chatbots, which can provide personalised recommendations and assist customers with their purchases. Additionally, businesses can use messaging apps to send targeted promotions and exclusive offers, further incentivising users to make a purchase. 

The role of chatbots in social commerce

Chatbots are becoming an essential tool for businesses in social commerce. They can provide personalised recommendations, answer customer queries and assist with purchases. In 2024, try to start leveraging chatbots to enhance the customer experience and drive sales on messaging apps, if you aren’t already. 

Messaging apps and customer engagement

Messaging apps are not just a platform for sales, but also for customer engagement. Businesses can use these apps to engage with their customers, gather feedback and build relationships. Aim to start using messaging apps as a key part of your customer engagement strategy.

5. Video content dominance

Video content has been on the rise for years, and it will continue to dominate the social commerce landscape in 2024. Platforms like YouTube, TikTok and Instagram Reels have become popular destinations for users to discover and engage with video content.

Businesses can leverage this trend by creating engaging and informative video content that showcases their products or services. By incorporating product demonstrations, tutorials and customer testimonials into your videos, your business can effectively drive sales and build brand loyalty. 

The power of live video

Live video is becoming increasingly popular on social media platforms. It offers a unique and engaging way for businesses to connect with their audience. Some ways to leverage live video for your business would be for:
  • Product launches 
  • Q&A sessions 
  • Behind-the-scenes content.
Video content and SEO

Video content is not just engaging, but it can also boost a business’s SEO efforts. Search engines like Google favour video content, and videos can help improve a website’s search engine ranking. In 2024, we hope to see more businesses leveraging video content to improve their SEO and drive traffic to their website.

6. Social commerce analytics and insights

As social commerce continues to evolve, businesses will need to rely on data and analytics to make informed decisions. In 2023, we saw some advancements in social commerce analytics tools that provide businesses with valuable insights into their customers’ behaviour and preferences. These tools will enable businesses to optimise their social commerce strategies, identify trends and measure the success of their campaigns. By leveraging data-driven insights, businesses can stay ahead of the competition and drive meaningful results. 

Predictive analytics in social commerce

Predictive analytics is another key trend in social commerce. It involves using data to predict future behaviour and trends. In 2024, we can expect to see more businesses leveraging predictive analytics to forecast sales, identify potential issues and optimise their social commerce strategies – or digital marketing strategies as whole.

7. Personalisation and customisation

Personalisation and customisation have become key drivers of social commerce success. In 2023, businesses started putting more focus on delivering personalised experiences to their customers. This can be achieved through targeted advertising, personalised product recommendations and tailored messaging. By understanding your customers’ preferences and behaviour, you can create a more personalised shopping experience that resonates with your target audience and drives conversions. 

Personalised advertising in social commerce


Personalised advertising is becoming increasingly important in social commerce. By leveraging data and analytics, you can create targeted ads that resonate with your audience. In 2024, more businesses should be investing in personalised advertising to enhance their social commerce efforts, where possible. 

Customised product recommendations

Customised product recommendations are another key aspect of personalisation in social commerce. By understanding your customers’ preferences and behaviour, you can provide personalised product recommendations that drive sales. More businesses need to leverage data and analytics going forward, to provide customised product recommendations.

8. Social commerce and sustainability

Sustainability has become an important consideration for consumers, and businesses are taking notice. In 2023, we saw more brands incorporating sustainability into their social commerce strategies. This can include initiatives like eco-friendly packaging, ethical sourcing and partnerships with charitable organisations. By aligning your brand with sustainability, your business can attract environmentally conscious consumers and differentiate yourself in the market. 

Eco-friendly packaging in social commerce

Eco-friendly packaging is becoming increasingly important in social commerce. Consumers are becoming more conscious of the environmental impact of their purchases and are favouring brands that use sustainable packaging. In 2024, we can expect to see more businesses incorporating eco-friendly packaging into their social commerce strategies. 

Ethical sourcing and social commerce

Ethical sourcing is another key aspect of sustainability in social commerce. Consumers are increasingly concerned about the ethical practices of businesses, including their sourcing and manufacturing processes. In 2024, we can expect to see more businesses focusing on ethical sourcing to attract conscious consumers and enhance their social commerce efforts.

9. Social commerce and AI

We all know that Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become a big buzz word, and tactic that businesses can use in many ways. Social commerce is no different. AI can play a pivotal role in personalisation, as it analyses user data to provide tailored product recommendations, making the shopping journey for consumers more engaging and efficient.

Chatbots and virtual assistants are enhancing customer service by offering real-time support and answering queries, improving user satisfaction. Additionally, AI-driven sentiment analysis and social listening tools monitor social media platforms to gauge consumer opinions and trends, allowing businesses to adjust their strategies in response to public sentiment. 

The role of AI in social commerce analytics

AI is playing a crucial role in social commerce analytics. AI can help businesses analyse large amounts of data and generate actionable insights such as some of the points mentioned above. In 2024, we can expect to see more businesses leveraging AI to enhance their social commerce analytics and make more informed decisions.

Overall, AI in social commerce is fostering more personalised, efficient and responsive interactions between consumers and businesses, ultimately creating a more enjoyable shopping experience.

Looking ahead to 2024

Social commerce will continue to play a significant role in the world of digital marketing. By staying up to date with the latest trends, businesses can leverage social commerce to connect with their target audience, drive sales and build brand loyalty. From the rise of social media influencers to the integration of augmented reality, there are numerous opportunities for businesses to capitalise on social commerce in the coming year. By embracing these trends and adapting your strategy accordingly, you can position your business for success in the evolving landscape of social commerce.

The future of social commerce looks promising. With the continuous evolution of technology and consumer behaviour, you have numerous opportunities to leverage social commerce to your advantage. By staying informed about the latest trends and adapting your strategies, you can ensure your business is well-positioned to succeed in the world of social commerce in 2024 and beyond.

Useful resources:
Payfast
Payfast is a payments processing service that enables South African merchants to receive payments from local and international buyers.
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