Supercharging social commerce success

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In UAE, e-commerce is becoming more social by the day. The country has a young demographic filled with high-net-worth consumers.

Given high penetration rates in smartphone and social media usage, it is inevitable that brands would focus on social pages and apps to appeal to their target consumer.

Social commerce in the UAE is about to become a billion-dollar market.

Projected to top US$975 million this year and reach almost US$3 billion by 2028 — a CAGR of just over 24% — its rise to prominence is based on the preferences of millennials and Gen Z digital natives who are pivoting to social platforms to engage with brands.

Keeping in mind that the average UAE social-media user spends 2 hours and 50 minutes per day on social media apps, AppsFlyer’s Sue Azari shares how businesses can use this opportunity to cultivate meaningful relationships with them.

User-generated content

Brands can encourage social media users to connect with in-person shoppers for some live inspiration.

Users go looking for inspiration and the experience of Instagram lends itself well to the creation of product unboxing and review content. This organic sharing of experiences is a great way to grow brand awareness and reputation.

The potential for such activity can be seen in the fact that social media is, almost unthinkably, rivaling even the mighty Google as a choice for research.

A year ago, Google’s Knowledge and Information SVP Prabhakar Raghavan told delegates at Fortune’s Brainstorm Tech summit that “something like almost 40% of young people” preferred TikTok or Instagram to Google Maps or Search when deciding where to go for lunch.

The comments were later confirmed by Google to TechCrunch as having been “based on internal research that involved a survey of US users, ages 18 to 24”.

User-generated content has two main uses. First, it can be used for social listening, which allows brands to understand the pain points of their customers and prepare responses at call centres while working on fixes. Secondly, brands can amplify their presence, reputation, and messaging.

Sue Azari, Industry Lead - eCommerce, AppsFlyer
Sue Azari, Industry Lead – eCommerce, AppsFlyer

Follow your target audience

Marketers who want to make the most of the native features and creative formats of each platform, assemble an informative, relevant, and captivating social commerce experience.

To truly thrive, brands need to diversify their media mix and meet their consumers where they start their journey — for example, TikTok or Instagram.

Diversifying across touch points ensures catching consumers where their attention is — and meets their varying needs at the same time.

Taking the time to explore different demographics and how these groups use distinct content types is crucial to success.

Consistency is key

It is possible to grow an audience through the skilled shaping of content that comes in a steady flow and is consistent in its message, quality, and style.

For an eCommerce brand, it is important to go where your audience is and to understand how to best leverage each social platform.

Marketers will benefit from remembering that their brands’ engagement with social media users is part of the customer experience.

Also consider your business’ size. SMEs may have direct sales in mind and will expect measurable revenue boosts, where larger brands can afford to play the longer game, using social media to educate and inspire, or to build UGC communities.

From here, the larger brand can capture granular user data in a way that respects privacy.

This helps the business to develop its owned media channels and enhance control over everything from awareness to purchase, while cutting costs.

By Sue Azari, Industry Lead – eCommerce, AppsFlyer