The Battle of the Buy Buttons: The Evolution of Social Commerce

What if I told you that there is a social platform which shows you the products you want, which are the perfect size, the perfect price and at the ideal time on the right device? A platform which allows you to buy this product with just one nod of your head? Well, whilst I can’t provide this at the nod of my head, I can tell you it’s within reach…

Social commerce has evolved a great deal based on what people want and the fantastic and dynamic social media platform capabilities. It is therefore increasingly important for retailers to continue to make the best use of this huge opportunity for growth.

In recent months and years, we have seen an explosion of e-commerce on mobile phones. We now expect that mobile retail will make up a whopping 50% of the retail e-commerce by 2020. With mobile becoming the main source of retail e-commerce, the way people purchase online has changed.  Mobile shoppers now spend less time buying products and peruse less products before purchasing, than ever before. The limitations of mobile platforms certainly help explain why customers are investing less time into shopping online, but this is not the only reason. Ads are becoming more and more relevant. Technologies, like Facebook Dynamic Ads aid product relevancy using Artificial Intelligence, as well as more first and third-party data. By adopting this approach and using Dynamic ads on Facebook, OMD increased Levi’s ROI by five.

Ad relevancy helps advertisers showcase the right products, but ad formats also help the mobile retail journey by providing a more seamless shopping experience – from inspiration via a video, or even 360-degree, video (MG OMD run this on John Lewis ads) to selecting your product via the catalogue ad which loads on to Facebook. All without visiting the retailer website.  In the US, shoppable posts (you can click on the post and the price, the name and link will pop-up!) are starting to be more widely used. It is now even easier to have a multi-purpose ad, from awareness and consideration to DR.

Although social media platforms make it easier for you to select the relevant product, you still need to go the retailer website in order to add to basket, provide product specs (such as size, colours, option), provide your contact info, as well as paying.  This will eventually change as social media platforms try to personalise your shopping experience even further, as well as making it simpler for you to buy.

Through knowing your size, budget, delivery address as well as favourite payment method, it’s not hard to imagine a new and different type shopping experience through social media. The ad will only show you products within your budget, with the right options (size or other) and with “1 click ordering” you will be able to buy a product from the ads without going to the retailer website.

With this extra data, artificial intelligence will also make it easier for the platforms to predict what products you are likely to buy. This will, in turn, make it easier for the buyer as well as for retailers, who will only be managing a feed to the social media platform.

In conclusion, the social commerce environment is changing rapidly and for any retailers, whatever the size, it is becoming more and more important to work with your paid social team to make sure that latest social media functionalities, such as retargeting and cross-selling Dynamic ads and Facebook Video Catalogue, ads are implemented in order to retain market share and business.

For more information about the possibilities within social commerce, please contact us at


About Author

Charles Ruyant

Charles Ruyant is Head of Social Advertising at OMD EMEA in London. He has over 10 years experience in the digital marketing industry working for different media agencies (including Publicis Group, Experian, Sprinklr and Omnicom Group) across the world. Charles specialises in Social Media strategy and oversees the EMEA social team as well as various clients, such as Sony Pictures, Intel, Luxottica and Bacardi.

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