Social Shopping: Guide to shopping on social networks

shopping social
Table of contents

Online commerce is evolving at an impressive speed and now touches all sectors of activity thanks to its global reach. Social networks and the emergence of “Live” formats play an increasingly central role in this transformation. Social Shopping, or the art of skillfully merging social networks and e-commerce, has grown to offer a unique and interactive shopping experience to consumers. 

33% of internet users have discovered new products through social networks and 60% of online consumers had already made a purchase via this means in 2020 (Nielsen). Brands that have successfully integrated Social Shopping have recorded an average increase of 30% in their online sales. Social commerce offers an exceptional opportunity to strengthen your customers’ engagement, but also to increase your sales and brand awareness. 

Dive with us into the world of Social Shopping, where we will explain its functioning, its advantages, and the techniques to implement to realize effective sales campaigns on your social networks. 

The Specifics of Social Shopping 

What is Social Shopping? 

Social Shopping is a practice that involves using social networks to facilitate the online buying process. This interconnection between networks and e-commerce allows consumers to discover, share, and purchase products or services directly from social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok, or others. 

Social Shopping reinvents the shopping experience by integrating the purchasing process into social networks, thus creating a more interactive, engaging, and seamless experience for consumers. It enables businesses to leverage their community, the reach, and influence of social networks to increase their sales and strengthen their online presence. 

How does Social Shopping work? 

The concept of Social Shopping is to integrate e-commerce functionalities into social networking platforms, allowing users to discover, explore, and buy products directly from their social feed. 

What are the interests and possibilities related to commerce on social networks? 

  • The discovery of products or services presented in the form of posts, static photos, videos, or advertisements. 
  • The integration of specific e-commerce buying functionalities on social networking platforms to create online shops. 
  • Direct purchase by clicking on a “Buy Now” button or a purchase link in the post, redirecting buyers to a product sale page where they can finalize their purchase. 
  • Sharing on networks of purchases made, reviews of products, or the shopping experience with friends and followers on social networks, thus creating a dynamic of digital word-of-mouth. 
  • Interaction with the brand through comments, private messages, and responses to questions, allowing a closer relationship between the brand and consumers. 
  • Personalization and recommendations from social network algorithms, capable of analyzing user behavior and showing them recommended products based on their preferences, past interactions, and social connections. 
  • Analyzing the performance of Social Shopping campaigns using integrated analysis tools, to adjust your marketing strategy in real time. 

In summary, Social Shopping simplifies the buying process by allowing users to make purchases without leaving their favorite social networking platforms. This creates a smoother and more interactive shopping experience while strengthening the online presence of businesses and boosting their sales. 

What is the difference between Social Shopping and Social Selling? 

The main difference between Social Shopping and Social Selling lies in the objective and approach. Social Shopping focuses on directly facilitating purchases through social media, while Social Selling focuses on using social media to establish sales relationships and create sales opportunities. 

In summary, Social Shopping is focused on purchases, while Social Selling is focused on creating sales relationships. These two concepts leverage online presence and engagement on social networks to achieve their respective goals. 

The Advantages of Social Shopping 

Among the many benefits of Social Shopping, we will focus on its three major assets, which we will discuss in more detail and illustrate through key figures and examples of implementation: 

  • The increase in brand visibility and reputation, 
  • The improvement of customer engagement, 
  • And the increase in sales and revenue. 
mark zuckerberg
Mark Zuckerberg

Expansion of Brand Recognition 

How Social Shopping Contributes to Brand Visibility 

  • Enhanced visibility through the visual and creative presentation of products, which attracts user attention. According to HubSpot, posts with images receive 94% more views than those without images. 
  • Improved brand recognition as Social Shopping allows companies to show their human side, tell their story, and emotionally connect with customers. According to Forbes, 62% of millennials are more loyal to brands that actively engage with them on social media. 
  • Significant exposure of products to a wider audience through virality and social sharing. According to a study by Sprout Social, 58% of consumers follow brands on social media to discover new products. Sephora shares inspiring content on Pinterest related to beauty trends and the products they sell. Users can click on pins for more information and to purchase the products. 
  • Increased engagement due to interactive product posts and Social Shopping campaigns, which often generate a high level of user engagement, including likes, comments, and shares. According to Hootsuite, the average engagement rate on Instagram is 1.22%, which is considered high for brands. 
  • Creation of a community of loyal customers who regularly interact with the brand. According to a Facebook survey, 61% of respondents say that positive interactions with a brand on social media encourage them to purchase more from that brand. 
  • Expansion of organic reach provided by positive interactions and shares that can amplify the reach of brand posts. According to Sprout Social, social sharing is one of the main reasons people follow brands on social media. 
  • A digital word-of-mouth effect leading to recommendations to friends and followers, thereby enhancing brand recognition. According to Nielsen, 83% or 92% of consumers trust recommendations from their friends and family. 

These advantages of Social Shopping demonstrate how it can significantly contribute to the expansion of brand recognition by creating an engaging online presence, encouraging social sharing, and arousing customer interest. 

Improving Customer Engagement 

As seen previously, the impact of the community can be a real lever for engaging new prospects and reactivating customers. Your goal is to create and maintain an affinity link with your audience to encourage them to engage, from various angles. 

  • Social reviews and recommendations from other users, which strengthens trust. According to a study by BrightLocal, 87% of consumers read online reviews to decide on a purchase. Nordstrom integrates customer reviews and product recommendations on their website. Customers can see what others have bought and recommended, which strengthens trust and engagement. 
  • Social sharing of purchases made and customer experiences on social networks, thus creating an engaged follower community. ASOS regularly posts photos of clothing worn by influencers and models on Instagram, with direct purchase links. They also encourage customers to share their own outfit photos with the hashtag #AsSeenOnMe. 
  • Personalization based on behavior: Social media algorithms personalize content and products displayed based on user behavior, increasing the chances of conversion. According to Evergage, 88% of marketers have seen an improvement in their results due to personalization. 
  • Creation of user-generated content (UGC): Customers can create their own content related to products, such as photos of their purchases, which increases brand engagement and visibility. According to Bazaarvoice, 64% of consumers are more likely to buy a product after seeing a photo from another customer. 
  • Interactive content, such as polls, quizzes, or live videos, promotes customer engagement. According to a report by Sprout Social, 91% of consumers prefer brands that provide interactive content. 
  • Direct interaction with products through photos, videos, and comments. According to a Shopify survey, 75% of online shoppers say a detailed visual description influences their purchase decision. 
  • Real-time feedback from brands following questions posed by their customers, which improves the shopping experience and strengthens engagement. According to a HubSpot report, 90% of customers consider an immediate response important when they have a question. 
  • Contests and games always stimulate engagement. According to a study by Tailwind, Instagram contests generate on average 64 times more comments per post than regular posts. 

These advantages of Social Shopping illustrate how it can improve customer engagement by creating interactive shopping experiences, building trust, encouraging social sharing, and personalizing the shopping experience. 

Increase in Sales and Revenue 

A high engagement rate and a larger community undoubtedly influence your sales. What are the elements that impact your sales in the context of Social Shopping? 

  • Improved conversions due to a shorter and smoother shopping journey, as users can buy directly from social networks without leaving the platform. This reduces steps that might discourage potential customers. Nike and Zara allow their customers to buy products directly from Instagram, where they present new collections and encourage customer interactions. 
  • Social sharing and virality when customers share their purchases on social media can lead to additional sales through digital word-of-mouth. LuLaRoe, a women’s fashion brand, has built a base of independent consultants who create private Facebook groups where they present collections, organize live sales, and interact with customers. 
  • Precise targeting of advertisements and product posts, meaning ads are presented to a relevant audience, which can generate a conversion rate 2.07 times higher than non-targeted ads, according to Facebook. 
  • Increase in upselling related to product recommendations and personalization features based on behavior, encouraging customers to buy additional items. According to an Adobe survey, 40% of consumers are more likely to buy a recommended product based on their preferences. 
  • Discounts and promotions, offered on networks by the brands followed, are popular with 59% of people following brand profiles, according to Capterra. 
  • Reduction in cart abandonment rates due to a simplified shopping process. According to Statista, the average cart abandonment rate for e-commerce sites is about 70%, but purchases on social media can help reduce this. 
  • Customer loyalty: Positive shopping experiences on social media contribute to customer loyalty. According to a study by Harvard Business Review, a 5% increase in customer retention rates can increase profits by 25% to 95%. 
  • Improvement in return on investment (ROI): Businesses can measure the impact of their Social Shopping campaigns more precisely, allowing them to allocate their advertising budget more effectively. According to Statista, the median return on investment for social media advertising campaigns is about 150%. 

These advantages of Social Shopping demonstrate how it can significantly contribute to increasing sales and revenue for companies that use it effectively. The statistics are based on published studies and research, and they illustrate the positive impact that Social Shopping can have on business performance. 

Many brands like Zara, Sephora, or It Works! have successfully used Social Selling as a key pillar of their business model, relying on social networks to interact with their audience, promote their products, and close sales. They demonstrate how the power of social media can be harnessed to grow a business and establish relationships with customers. 

The Conversion Funnel of Social Shopping 

To create a sales funnel conducive to conversion in Social Shopping, each stage of the customer journey must be finely executed to maximize its effectiveness throughout your prospect or customer’s shopping experience. 

What are the conditions for success in your Social Selling strategy? 

Awareness Phase: Precise Targeting

The first step is to understand your target audience: 

  • Who are they? 
  • What are their preferences, needs, and buying behaviors? 

The better you know your target, the better you can segment them according to precise criteria to create your advertising campaigns or posts on social networks. 

The more you understand your audience, the more you can personalize your conversion funnel to meet their expectations, using the most suitable format, on the most relevant network, with the most effective message. 

Social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and LinkedIn offer very effective targeting possibilities. Your ad targeting can be based on demographic profile, geographic criteria, interests, etc. 

Moreover, with Facebook and Instagram’s similar audience feature, you can target internet users who don’t know you yet but share multiple commonalities with your existing community. 

Then you can choose the most appropriate social network platforms. Each platform has its own characteristics and advantages. For example, Instagram focuses on visuals, while LinkedIn is more professional. Choose platforms that best match your brand, your products, and are frequented by your target audience. 

  • 33% of people surveyed discovered a brand or product through an article they read on social networks.
  • 22% of customers discovered a new brand through an online video. 

Ensure that your social profiles are complete, professional, and reflect your brand identity. Include high-quality profile and cover images, as well as accurate information about your company and products. 

Did you know?  

For most consumers, the phase of researching information about a brand or product occurs on different sites and channels, according to a Wildfire Interactive study: 

  • 40% use a search engine. 
  • 37% turn to social networks.
  • 33% consult directly on the brand’s website. 
  • 28% visit a customer review site. 
  • 16% watch the company’s online videos. 

Consideration Phase: Impactful Content

This second phase aims to disseminate targeted ads and relevant content based on criteria such as age, location, and interests. 

In this context, create and regularly publish quality content tailored to each platform to maximize its impact, containing: 

  • A compelling hook. 
  • Informative and reassuring messaging. 
  • An attractive format (video stories, live, static post). 
  • A powerful CTA or click-inducing link. 
  • Highlighting reassurance through reviews and comments. 

Conversion Phase: An Engaging Purchase Journey

This third phase is crucial, as it’s the phase that should prompt your prospect to make a purchase. 

You must place clear CTAs (Call-to-Actions) on your social media posts, such as “Buy Now,” “Learn More,” “I Want It,” or “Add to Cart.” 

If possible, activate e-commerce functionalities on the social networking platforms you use. For instance, Instagram Shopping allows users to browse and buy products directly from the platform. 

At this stage, your landing page must be well constructed and perfectly responsive to facilitate conversion, as navigation is predominantly on mobile, with: 

  • Quality visuals and a detailed description of your products. 
  • Transparent pricing and delivery details display. 
  • Access to FAQs and viewing customer reviews.
Case study
The slimming institute Bodyline Center has increased its leads thanks to a Conversions API strategy on Meta/Facebook.

Ensure that the shopping experience is enjoyable, smooth, and transparent for customers. This includes fast page loading, easy navigation, and responsive customer service. 

Be also active and responsive to comments, questions, and customer messages on your social networks. Interacting with customers builds trust and can help address concerns before they affect conversions. 

To go further 

Establishing trust is essential in Social Shopping, as in any other online purchasing act. With this in mind, we recommend: 

  • providing complete product information, 
  • publishing customer reviews and testimonials, 
  • guaranteeing transaction security and offering different payment methods, 
  • sending order confirmation and delivery tracking directly to their social media accounts, 
  • offering various ways to contact customer support (chat, phone, form, email). 

Loyalty Phase: Creating an Affinity Link 

An observation: Retaining your customers costs on average five times less than acquiring new ones. Hence the importance of implementing a loyalty strategy to maintain a high level of satisfaction with your brand beyond the purchase: 

  • Exemplary customer service: response time, quality, return and exchange policy. 
  • Responsiveness to questions, reviews, and comments left. 
  • Conducting customer satisfaction surveys.
  • Creating a loyalty club to value your customers. 

In the context of Social Selling, the goal is to encourage your customers to testify about their purchases and share their experience with the community; thus contributing to the trust and reputation of the brand. 

A positive shopping experience on social networks contributes to customer loyalty. For instance, the American company Glossier built its online community by encouraging customers to share their skincare routines and experiences with the products. They also obtain feedback and ideas from their customers on Instagram and other networks. 

According to a Bain & Company survey, a 5% increase in customer retention can increase profits by 25% to 95%. 

Tracking and Optimization 

This final step involves analyzing the performance achieved throughout the purchasing journey (engagement and conversion). The goal here is to identify what works and what doesn’t, to make adjustments accordingly. According to Statista, 54% of marketing specialists consider real-time analytics as the most effective way to optimize their advertising campaigns. 

Be ready to experiment with different approaches to see what generates the best results. Test different types of content, CTAs, and advertising strategies to optimize your conversion funnel.” 

Strategies and Best Practices for Social Shopping 

According to a We Are Social and Hootsuite survey in 2022, 29% of consumers surveyed admit to having made purchases via social media, and 52% indicate they chose to finalize their purchase by being redirected to the company’s external site. 

Choosing Social Media Platforms 

Social media offers several features to facilitate Social Shopping and allow businesses to sell their products or services directly from their profiles. The key is to choose the platform most suited to your business goal and target audience. 

Among the many active social networks, Facebook leads with 72% of users having made purchases through this channel, followed by Instagram with 36% of purchases and TikTok with 16%. 


The rate of social media usage relative to the total population: the example of France 

  • Facebook, with a 49% usage rate
  • Instagram, with a 36% usage rate
  • Snapchat, with a 35% usage rate
  • TikTok, with a 32% usage rate
  • LinkedIn, with a 30% usage rate
  • Twitter, with a 21% usage rate
  • Pinterest, with an 18% usage rate 
rate of social media users
Rate of social media users

Features Available on Social Media 

In this last part, we offer an overview of the most common features according to the platform. 


56% of users mainly look for information and 15% of them are looking for products to buy. 

The video format is the most effective for generating clicks via Facebook Ads (59.3%), ahead of images (29.6%). Video represents 15% of all content published on Facebook. 

Live Selling: the user only has to click on a CTA during your live to be redirected to your products. 

Shops in Groups: allows group administrators to create online shops within their groups. This allows group members to discover, browse, and buy products directly from the group. Product Recommendations: members can recommend an item directly in the group. Another announced feature will display the best recommended products in your news feed. 

Facebook Marketplace: an integrated platform where users can buy and sell products locally. Businesses can create product listings with detailed descriptions, photos, and prices. 


It’s the ideal network for Social Shopping, as 90% of users follow at least one business. Two-thirds of registrants believe Instagram is ideal for interacting with brands. And 50% of them say they are more interested in a brand when it advertises on Instagram. Instagram is a good source for searching for new products (70%) or for discovering new ones (60%). 

Instagram Shopping: allows businesses to tag their products in organic posts and Stories. Users can click on product tags to learn more about an item and be redirected to a product detail page, where they can make a purchase. 

Instagrammable shoppable gallery: an online space or shop designed to be both aesthetic and user-friendly on Instagram, while allowing users to click on products presented through images or videos to buy them directly. 

Pop-up shop: an online sales concept where a seller offers products or collections for a limited period. 

Hover: consumers can discover and buy products they like by hovering over your images and videos. 


It’s the platform with the highest engagement rate, but it is primarily used for entertainment, with a ‘young’ target audience. 

TikTok Shopping: allows businesses to tag products in their videos. Users can access product details and buy directly via the app. 


A perfect network for professional-targeted advertisements, portraying a more professional (92%), smarter (74%), higher quality (59%), and more respectable (59%) brand image. 

The longest content, averaging 2000 words, performs best on this platform. The presence of an image in posts increases the engagement rate by 50%. 

LinkedIn Marketplace: has business-to-business selling features to promote products and services to a professional audience. Businesses can create product listings and use call-to-actions to direct users to landing pages. 


Platform X is mainly perceived as an information channel by 59% of registrants. It is more popular for generating interactions with companies, like help or technical support, by 93% of its users. 

92% of interactions occur by clicking on links embedded in tweets. 

Twitter Shop Module: allows brands to create digital storefronts to showcase their products. Users can browse and buy products directly from the platform. 


The focus on this network is on visuals, which is ideal for presenting collections or any other inspiring publication. It should be noted that higher socio-professional categories are overrepresented (44%). 

Pinterest Shopping: offers features such as product pins and product catalogs for businesses. Product pins include detailed product information, while catalogs allow uploading product lists to create pins. 


YouTube Shoppable Videos: aims to create interactive and shoppable videos. Viewers can click on products featured in the video to get more information and make purchases. 

Snapchat Shoppable AR: offers interactive ads with augmented reality (AR) that allow users to virtually try on products and buy them directly from the app. 

WhatsApp Business: allows interaction with customers, presentation of products, and answering questions. They can also offer links to product pages for purchases. 

Note that many businesses use chatbots on social media to interact with customers, answer their questions, and guide them to products. Chatbots can also facilitate purchases by providing product information and assisting in completing transactions. 

Sources : Harris Interactive, Pinterest, Twitter, Snapchat, TikTok. Meta for business, DataReportal GlobalWebIndex, Statista, eMarketer, Social Insider, DataBox, Content Marketing Institute, HubSpot, Pew Research Center – Source Talenty – Key Figures of Social Networks 2023. 

These features enable businesses to create interactive Social Shopping experiences, allowing customers to explore, view, and buy products directly from social media platforms.” 


Social Shopping represents a significant evolution in the world of e-commerce and digital marketing. It offers businesses a unique opportunity to leverage the power of social media to increase their sales, develop their brand awareness, and improve customer engagement. 

Thanks to its interactive dimension, Social Shopping succeeds in creating a seamless and immersive shopping experience, directly integrated into the social media platforms that consumers already use daily. By enabling businesses to present their products in a visual and interactive manner, gather reviews and recommendations, and facilitate purchases with just a few clicks, Social Shopping simplifies the buying process for customers. 

Are you looking to improve your visibility, strengthen your engagement, and increase your revenue by developing your sales on this additional digital channel? Our agency can support you in this new challenge.