The era of E-commerce and Social Commerce:
Social media channels have been, and remain, critical channels for retailers, and they’re great opportunities for creative entrepreneurs and the creator economy. They have been a critical channel for brands, who long ago figured out how to leverage influencers, create engaging content and enable purchasing with new technologies.
It is the influencers who are engaging and with that, a new trend is coming up fast. Influencers have millions of followers on social media. By collaborating with them, D2C brands can promote their product or service to the influencer’s followers. This influencer marketing is more lucrative than traditional marketing. Influencer marketing gives D2C brands a tremendous opportunity to reach millions of potential customers.
Consumers connect better and are more likely to purchase when they see real people with relatable content. The success of the campaign depends on striking the right chord with the audience and choosing the right influencer for the brand.
According to a recent study, Community commerce is specifically the notion of entertaining, compelling content that just happens to feature brands. As per a 2021 study, 70% of consumers say they have been driven to make a purchase on social media even when they weren’t looking to buy something, However, both these descriptions leave “community” out of the equation.
The Trust Factor
The trust that comes with a community has grown into our commerce communities as well, and they have become sources of safety, recommendations, and trust. The new influencers are the sources we know and trust, and we are beginning to see shopping behavior change as a result.
When you buy from a community that you know well, perhaps even long before they had the opportunity to sell anything to you, you don’t need research skills to know you can trust it.
Community engagement and commerce:
Consumer brands earlier focused on performance marketing and above the line (ATL) campaigns that constituted roughly 40-50 % of their marketing budgets.
Eventually, many realized that they cannot scale performance marketing beyond a point and that is when the focus shifted to building their communities. For example, the Red bull community, Sephora, and Royal Enfield. Every brand — direct-to-consumer (D2C) or otherwise — will need to have community at the heart of its strategy and will have to hire community managers to support the customer experience journey
Every brand will sooner or later need to convert its audience into a strong community, which is more cult-like and highly engaged with the brands. And in this will lie the future of its Commerce.