In fact, 57% of consumers report social media as their preferred method for discovering new products — over television ads (56%), YouTube ads (49%), and retail stores (42%), and only surpassed by "searching on the internet" (58%).
And as someone who now purchases the majority of her skincare products from "Swipe Up to Buy" links, I can attest: Social media shopping tools are effective.
Here, let's explore how three companies have grown their revenue using shopping tools from Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok.
1. Facebook Shops and Pink Tag Boutique
According to HubSpot Blog Research, Facebook is the most popular social site for purchasing products, with 36% of consumers reporting they'd purchased a product directly from the platform.
In 2020, Facebook launched Facebook Shops, a free ecommerce tool designed to "create a mobile shopping experience for their audiences." Essentially, it's an online store that enables you to highlight products or specific collections of items, and customize fonts and colors to ensure it matches your brand.
Pink Tag Boutique, a Kentucky-based clothing and accessories boutique, saw immense growth on the platform. In fact, they attribute $44,448 in incremental sales from Facebook Shops, and have seen 66% greater average order value from buyers on Facebook Shops compared to those who bought directly from the website.
Beyond Facebook Shops, Pink Tag Boutique has also tested out Live Shopping events, which is a live broadcast in which people can learn more about your products and interact directly with you.
Facebook Shops could be a good opportunity for your brand to create its own digital storefront. Rather than requiring users to click-through to your website to purchase products, Facebook Shops allows you to make the process easier by enabling consumers to purchase directly from the platform.
2. Instagram Reels & Headway
HubSpot Blog Research found 44% of consumers prefer to discover new products on social media through ads or sponsored content — followed by 34% who prefer to discover new products via a feed post, and 32% who prefer social media marketplaces (like Facebook Marketplace), and 28% who prefer social media shops where purchases happen in-app (like Instagram Shop).
how people prefer to discover new products on social media
Additionally, 26% of consumers prefer discovering new products via short-form videos like Instagram Reels. As video continues to dominate in terms of most popular content format, it makes sense to test out leveraging video ads or Reels to engage with consumers.
For instance, Headway, an educational technology app that provides personal growth content, saw a 15% decrease in cost-per-acquisition with Reels ads, a 10% increase in video views with Reels ads, and a 10% increase in trials with Reels ads.
As Headway's Head of Marketing, Vlad Strykun, told Instagram, "The Reels placement gave us the opportunity to expand our audience and reach new customers with new types of ad content—video explainers. The fall in cost per acquisition and the rise in conversions are convincing enough for us to continue working in this promising Reels area."
Reels ads, which are full-screen and vertical, appear in-between content creators' Reels within the app. The videos can be up to 30-seconds long, and people can comment, like, view, save, and share these videos.
It's equally important to note — There are plenty of other Instagram ecommerce opportunities if Reels doesn't seem like the best fit for your brand. The most popular tools leveraged by marketers include Instagram Shops (47%), Instagram Live Shopping (44%), Instagram Feed Post Shopping (40%), and Instagram Guides Shopping (39%).
3. TikTok and Abbott Lyon
With over 1 billion monthly users, TikTok is an undeniably powerful platform for reaching large audiences. Additionally, TikTok is used the most by Gen Z (26%), followed by Instagram (23%) and YouTube (22%) — so if your brand's target audience is Gen Zers, it makes sense to test out TikTok's ad capabilities.
Abbott Lyon, a fashion accessories brand, tested out TikTok's Value-Based Optimization (VBO) bidding strategy, which allows brands to deliver ads to users who have the potential to become high-value customers. Additionally, the brand used In-Feed Ads and SparkAds.
The campaign was a major success for the brand, resulting in an increased return-on-ad-spend by 31%, and an increased order value by 13%. Abbott Lyon also reduced cost-per-acquisition by 20%.
Ultimately, the Shopping Tools you consider using will depend upon which platforms your target audience prefers, and which tools make the most sense for your business goals. But social media shopping isn't going anywhere, so now's a good time to test out all the social media shopping tools at your disposal to determine which makes the most sense for your company.