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Selling on social media: what you need to know

Today brands have more access to their potential customers & their data than ever before.

Customers expect their favourite brands to be online and want to also use social media to discover new and exciting products. Because of this, social media has evolved considerably recently for businesses to take full advantage of all the different platforms now available. 

Some channels have gone as far as creating an in-house eCommerce platform so that customers can shop online without leaving their social media!

Research shows that being able to buy within a social platform would encourage 75% of 21- to 34-year-olds to purchase with a brand. This is really big at the moment for small and quick purchases. For larger, more luxurious purchases, people are still looking for more of a full service, but still using social to discover and learn about the brand. 

Facebook & Instagram have clearly cornered the market for this feature, with the ability for companies to tag their products and sell directly through the platforms. We’ve seen these really pop off, especially while the shops were closed during the lockdown. Smaller businesses have turned to social media for an online shopping presence. Facebook has stepped in and really helped small businesses flourish online during the pandemic. 

A lot of current platforms are working on producing something similar. 

Here is a quick checklist of what’s currently available, both positive and negative features. 


Facebook shopping


  • Free to use 
  • Frictionless between Facebook and Instagram
  • Links to the products you sell on a Facebook Live Video and Instagram Story
  • Your Ads and organic posts can have tags that lead visitors to a product page


  • Facebook takes 5% of the transaction fee 
  • Limited features
  • Exclude none Facebook audience


Instagram shopping 


  • Optimised for mobile users
  • Reduced clicks 
  • Streamlined checkout process


  • Instagram takes 5% of the transaction fees
  • No customer data
  • Can only sell physical goods




  • Create segments for the audience
  • Statistics from sales
  • Preset responses


  • Basic automation 
  • Need an exclusive account, cannot use a personal number


Pinterest “pins”


  • Drives traffic with an additional channel
  • Provides easy access for consumers
  • Holds option to provide unique bundle of services


  • Pins are singular, only one object per purchase
  • Lacks brand identity
  • Loses overall value of product


The synergy between these platforms and their eCommerce sides are the real benefit of using social media. Being able to utilise the power of social advertising, and tie that in with your direct sales from within your platform, will allow you to see the full benefits of social media eCommerce. Facebook’s direct ads and the data it has on it’s users allows the eCommerce side of the business to directly target the audience with the exact things it’s looking for. The easier you can move them through into the final stages of the purchase, the more likely they are to complete it. 

Hopefully, in the not too distant future, we will begin to see more and more platforms embrace this style of online selling. The unified platform allows small businesses to bypass the need for complex sites and gives smaller pop-up businesses a place to stand on the bigger market while being able to compete at a much higher level. 

If you’re looking to step up your eCommerce game make sure to talk to us first. Simply give us a call on 01282 792568 or drop us a message here on our website. You can also learn more about social media eCommerce and the benefits it brings in our previous blog 

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