From Feed to Shopping Card: How Social Commerce Redefines E-Commerce

Dinara Quarz-Pleuger
7 Min
Illustration mit Frau beim Social Shopping | Blog Social Commerce | eggheads.net


Social Commerce in Focus

Social media is indispensable in our everyday lives and even influences our purchasing behavior. Accordingly, it’s no wonder that more and more companies do not only use social marketing as means for communication and brand presence, but also as a sales tool to market their products. Be it product articles, reels, or brand name references by influencers – through social networks, you can reach out to customers around the clock and generate sales directly. In this blog, you can learn about all the things that social commerce makes possible today, what trends on social media platforms may be of relevance to you, and how you can combine all this with Product Information Management in order to provide your customers with a smooth purchasing experience.


What is Social Commerce?

Social commerce is a form of e-commerce which focuses on the sales of products or services directly via social media. Contrary to traditional e-commerce, companies here utilize the outreach and interaction possibilities of social media in order to present products and generate sales through social shopping.

In recent years, social commerce has been developing at a rapid pace, especially in the US and Asian regions. By now, it’s also enjoying ever-growing popularity in European countries. Online retail on social media platforms is on a success course and makes up a significant portion of e-commerce sales: The worldwide market volume of social commerce is estimated to grow to 1.23 trillion US dollars. While, in China, platforms such as Douyin (known as TikTok in our regions), Pinduoduo, WeChat are utilized for social commerce, the meta-platforms Facebook and Instagram are most popular among social media users in both Germany and the US. (Source: Statista)


Successful Social Commerce: Seize the Possibilities of the Various Social Media Channels

Depending on the individual social media channel, there are different functions and approaches to social commerce. Factors include the respective target group, demographic attributes, and the demands of all those who frequent the channel. Companies are to adjust their social commerce strategy accordingly in order to get the most out of the specific functions and possibilities of each platform.

The following are some differences in methodology concerning social commerce in various social media channels, together with trends that slowly seem to manifest themselves:


Facebook offers various tools for e-commerce, including Facebook Shops. It enables companies to offer their products directly on the platform. With Facebook Shops, companies can create online storefronts, i.e. virtual representations of their shops, and highlight their products through personalized collections without the need to build their own online shop from scratch.

While the so-called Live Shopping is no longer available on Facebook, the new Meta-Amazon Shopping is already in the making. This will allow you to sell Amazon products via Facebook to provide a smooth purchasing experience.

Other than that, you can still, now as then, sell products within the Facebook Community of Facebook Marketplace or market your products with ads featuring call-to-action buttons like “Buy Now” or “Shopping.”


Instagram’s social shopping options have undergone drastic changes throughout recent years. The so-called Shopping tab which allowed users to buy products directly through the integrated online shop has recently been put on hold. Instead, you now have the option to mark products in reels, posts (shoppable posts), and live videos, as well as to open relevant product information in a preview. From there, buyers can be redirected to the external website of the online shop.

In Instagram Stories, the swipe-up links have long been replaced by link stickers that redirect to external sites. This, too, is a great option for online sales.

The integration of checkout features on Instagram, which enables users to buy products directly in and through the Instagram app without leaving the platform, is currently only available in the US.


Pinterest has introduced Shoppable Pins that provide users the option to buy products directly through the pin, without leaving the platform. The integration of Product Pins into organic content facilitates your sales and creates a seamless customer journey. Additionally, the collaboration with influencers and market partners motivates users to discover and share products.


TikTok is at the forefront when it comes to successful social selling among younger generations and is setting its own social commerce trends: Thanks to TikTok hashtag challenges such as #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt, users are animated to present their platform-inspired product purchases. Brands use the momentum of such trends to further their user-generated content (UGC) and product placement.

On top of that, shoppable ads make it so that products can be presented in ads and purchased directly by users. The integration of links in the bio, just like on Instagram, enables influencers and brands to market their products.

X (formerly Twitter)

On X, companies can create shoppable tweets with embedded product links. This allows customers, through integration of e-commerce platforms such as Shopify, to shop directly by browsing X. Also, users can make use of the so-called product discovery to explore products and purchase them without ever leaving the platform.


The Future of Social Commerce: User-generated Content, Influencer Marketing, and Augmented Reality

In social commerce, trends can be observed that are of great importance for a smooth and immersive purchasing experience: User-generated content, influencer marketing, and augmented reality. Companies who are quick to catch on can boost their competitive prowess with these trends.

When it comes to UGC, i.e. content which is created by users, brands bank on authentic evaluations and recommendations provided by the users themselves in order to strengthen the customers’ trust.

In influencer marketing, the focus is on micro-influencers for building a stronger relationship to target groups. Using affiliate links and special discount codes, these influencers are not only brand ambassadors but also direct sales channels.

Augmented Reality (AR) for social media is already heavily employed in Asian regions in order to design virtual purchasing experiences. Through AR, customers can test products from the comfort of their own home before committing to the purchase. You can, for example, try on a piece of clothing or project furniture into your living room. These interactive experiences increase the level of involvement of customers while also reducing the risk of product returns.


Why Product Data is Important for User Experience in Social Commerce and How a PIM can Support You

PIM systems play a decisive role in social commerce because they enable companies to manage product information centrally, optimize it, and distributed it to various channels. Through this consolidation of product information, companies can increase their efficiency and make sure that customers always receive exact and uniform information for a smooth shopping experience.

Since the various social media channels require data in different formats, for different target groups, in different communication styles, contextualization is crucial. A PIM system enables your company to adjust product information to the context of the respective channel, be it adjusting product descriptions, images, or videos to achieve maximum effect in social media environments.

Thanks to the integration of PIM into their social commerce strategy, companies can maintain a consistent brand presence across various platforms while, at the same time, increasing both efficiency and effectiveness of marketing and sales activities.

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