Introduction to Social Commerce
Social commerce refers to the buying and selling of products or services through social media platforms. It involves leveraging existing social media networks and interactions to promote and facilitate online transactions. In recent years, social commerce has been growing rapidly across the globe and is revolutionising digital commerce.
For businesses in Nigeria, mastering social commerce provides immense opportunities to increase brand awareness, acquire new customers, drive greater sales, and ultimately boost revenue and profits. However, succeeding with social commerce requires an understanding of key platforms, developing an effective strategy, creating engaging content, optimising shops and listings, utilising analytics, and providing excellent customer service.
This comprehensive guide covers crucial tips and recommendations on how Nigerian businesses can excel at social commerce in 2024.
Major social commerce platforms and opportunities
A wide range of popular social media platforms have launched features and capabilities that enable social commerce. The major platforms that Nigerian businesses should focus on include:
Facebook and Instagram Shops
As the dominant social media apps in Nigeria, Facebook and Instagram present enormous opportunities for social commerce through the Facebook and Instagram Shops features. Businesses can easily set up an online storefront, showcase products in posts and stories, run special promotions, advertise to targeted customer segments, and drive sales directly within each app.
Given Facebook and Instagram’s vast existing user base and dominance in Nigeria’s social media landscape, having a Shop presence on each platform is invaluable for visibility, website traffic, and sales.
WhatsApp Business Catalogues
WhatsApp is installed on 99.2% of smartphones in Nigeria, making it the most ubiquitous messaging app in the country. The WhatsApp Business Catalogue feature allows businesses to showcase their products directly within WhatsApp through catalogues that are easily shareable with all contacts and customers.
This provides a powerful sales channel through an app that already has exceptionally high usage and engagement across Nigeria. Tapping into commerce on WhatsApp can lead to significant organic growth.
Twitter Shopify Integration
While Twitter has lower usage than other social platforms in Nigeria, it remains highly influential. Its recent integration with Shopify makes selling products on Twitter easy and seamless. Nigerian businesses can sync their Shopify product catalogues to enable social selling directly through their business Twitter profiles.
As influencer marketing grows on Twitter, the Shopify integration presents an opportunity to turn influencer promotion into direct sales. Twitter commerce is still nascent in Nigeria but is poised to grow. Getting ahead of the curve can lead to an advantage.
As videos continue to gain traction across social media, YouTube has emerged as the second most visited platform by Nigerians after Google. The video platform has launched a native shopping feature that allows video creators to tag and track products in their videos, enabling direct purchasing without leaving YouTube.
For Nigerian businesses actively creating video tutorials and product demos for their audience, YouTube Shopping turns content viewers into buyers seamlessly. This presents a chance to boost conversion rates and sales with an already popular marketing content format.
Social Commerce Strategy
Succeeding with social commerce requires developing a solid strategic approach tailored to each target platform and customer base. Here are key elements businesses must incorporate into their strategy:
Begin by setting clear goals and objectives for social commerce. This includes concrete targets for sales revenue, website traffic, engagement rate, conversion rate, and customer acquisition from social platforms over specific time frames. Having predefined objectives provides direction and benchmarks to optimise towards.
Understand Your Audience
Analyse your existing social media audience and customers to identify core consumer segments and profiles. Map out their demographics, psychographics, interests, values, and primary motivators. This allows for the creation of tailored content and offers that align with each target customer group per platform. Match social commerce tactics to buyer needs.
Streamlined Website and Checkout
Since social platforms drive traffic to a company’s website or built-in checkout, the destination site must provide a seamless, user-friendly experience. Eliminate friction in the checkout process. Ensure site speed is fast. Improve site navigation and flows based on customer feedback. Remove distractions to focus visitors on transaction completion.
Promote products strategically
Be strategic in determining which products to showcase and promote across each social commerce channel. Lead with hero products and best-sellers. Boost educational, helpful content around complex, high-ticket items. Share curated sets and bundles tailored to gifting occasions. Coordinate promotions with peak commerce periods. Personalise recommendations using browsing and purchase signals.
Experiment and optimise
Continuously test and analyse different content formats, products, placements, timing, and creatives across all social commerce channels. Apply lessons learned from past performance to optimise future initiatives. Take calculated risks with bold ideas that align with platform best practices. Leverage built-in analytics to make data-driven decisions. Double down on what converts and cut the losing variations.
Executing a strategic, targeted, and nimble social commerce plan tailored for each platform and audience is key to success.
Crafting engaging social content
Content remains the crucial currency on social media that fundamentally drives interest, sharing, and engagement. To stimulate transactions through social platforms, branded content must educate, inspire, and excite target customers. Here are the must-have content elements for excelling at social media commerce:
Share the founding story and background of your business to build identity and connection with the audience. Feature inspiring stories of the people and crafts behind your products to evoke emotion. Use employee stories to humanise your company’s culture and values. Weave in stories of loyal customers using and loving your products to influence others. Stories build relationships that lead new visitors to buy.
Educate Around Products
Create how-to guides, share insider tips, host informative Q&As, and publish thought leadership articles. Position your brand as an authority offering unique knowledge and expertise customers crave. Useful educational content earns attention, trust, and the conversion of followers into buyers.
Harness the power of images, graphics, and videos to showcase products in eye-catching visual ways tailored for each platform. Photography and videography styles should fit the expected social media aesthetics. Graphics can highlight product features and unique selling points via infographics, comparison charts, and guides. Pictures and video convert significantly better than text updates.
Inspire with values.
Communicate company values around ethical manufacturing, environmental sustainability, and social impact to connect with purpose-driven buyers. Feature CSR and community initiatives to reinforce shared values with customers. Conscientious branding builds loyalty among the target demographic.
Respond to Interactions
Actively respond to all comments, queries, and feedback. Thank followers for engagement and orders. Address concerns promptly. Solicit reviews. Make customers feel valued, heard, and cared for. Social commerce relies on the relationships behind transactions, with engagement leading to sales.
Optimise social commerce shops
Most major social platforms now enable setting up integrated shops or stores to facilitate transactions and sales directly from business pages and profiles. These built-in marketplaces come with shop management tools for customization. Optimising storefronts is essential for social commerce growth.
Compelling Store Profile
The overall shop or store profile must clearly communicate what your business offers and highlight why followers should buy from you. The description should summarise the product range, brand story, values, and differentiators. Profile imagery and video should highlight the most popular or unique products.
Organised product catalogues
Product catalogues must be logically categorised into groups or collections to ease browsing and selection based on usage occasions and contexts. Products can be highlighted as new arrivals, best-sellers, or currently on promotion. Group complementary add-ons and related products to increase order value. Include detailed product information like images, demo videos, and customer ratings.
Promotions and sales
Feature time-bound promotions like flash sales and seasonal offers across products and collections to create urgency and trigger impulse buying behavior. Partner with influencers to run limited co-branded or personalised offers. Promote gift boxes and collection bundles around cultural holidays and national events when gifting drives higher sales. Personalised loyalty discounts also help with retention and repeat purchases.
Ensure seamless integration between social shops, product catalogues, and secure payment gateways. Eliminate unnecessary fields and confirmation steps at checkout to prevent drop-offs. Set up trusted payment options like cards, bank transfers, QR codes, or payment links. Enable in-app checkout for convenience. Provide order tracking and return policies for reassurance.
Social Listing Optimisations
In addition to centralised shops on business profiles, listings for individual products also drive significant organic commerce traffic. Optimising product listings is crucial.
Product titles and captions must communicate the exact item, key benefits, target user, included components, price, and other purchase motivators. Include search keywords that buyers typically use to discover such items.
The description tab in listings must capture product details like materials used, manufacturing details, care instructions, dimensions, comparison with other sizes or variants being considered, and reasons why the viewer should purchase it over alternatives or substitutes.
Ensure listings have high-quality images showing the product in context, along with graphics or videos that demonstrate usage, components, features, and other visuals that compel the user. Tag people and brands featured.
Have clear visible calls to browse more options, choose desired variants, and add to the cart or checkout. Make it easy and intuitive for interested viewers to navigate to transaction completion after engaging with the listings.
As social platforms enhance listing features, continuing to optimise high-value product spots amplifies organic social commerce reach.
Leveraging Analytics for Insights
Extensive analytics are built across social commerce platforms, shop profiles, listings, and ads. Tracking key metrics is invaluable for gaining consumer and competitor intelligence to sharpen tactics.
Monitor performance trends.
Follow daily, weekly, and monthly performance dashboards that capture overall site traffic from social platforms, top referral sources, landing pages, transactions, conversion rates, top products driving sales, and return frequency. Identify rising and falling trends.
Record and benchmark metrics like inquiries, shares, comments, click-through rate, add-to-cart rate, average order value, and sales by traffic source. These indicate content resonance, product interest signals, and platform ROI.
Analyse the visitor profile.
Visitor demographic data shows which buyer personas and segments are most engaged. Behaviour flow charts reveal the highest-converting paths. View remarketing lists and create lookalike audiences to find more buyers with similar attributes.
Review Competitor Activity
Analyse competitor product catalogues, pricing, promotions, and content formats that garner high engagement. This provides intelligence on best practices and creativity opportunities. Competitor shopping ads also suggest winning products and gaps.
Apply analysis learnings to fine-tune shop layouts and flows, content formats, featured products, pricing strategy, and customer targeting. Data shows what platform shoppers prefer and respond best to. Iterating based on insights converts visitors.
Providing exceptional post-purchase service
The customer experience extends beyond the actual order to delivery, service, and support processes. Social commerce provides touchpoints for brands to connect post-purchase through messaging, community engagement, and review management.
Order Confirmation and Updates
Send personalised order confirmations and payment receipts promptly. Share delivery timelines, tracking status, and logistics partner details proactively via messages to set the right expectations. Updates relieve anxiety post-purchase.
**Education and Troubleshooting**
Share helpful guides, how-to videos, or links to useful tools related to product use along with order delivery. Anticipate issues customers may face. Provide proactive technology or usage troubleshooting to prevent returns or negative sentiment. Position your brand as a trusted advisor.
Reviews and Ratings Management
Proactively seek positive reviews and ratings through messaging post-delivery. This amplifies social proof. Address negative reviews publicly with empathy and helpfulness. Guide dissatisfied buyers to formal redressal support channels. Reviews make or break brands on social platforms.
Continue the relationship beyond the transaction through community conversations on social media groups related to your niche, industry, or brand, where authentic influencer connections can strengthen loyalty through engagement, feedback, and co-creation.
Getting the end-to-end customer experience right ensures recurring purchases, referrals, and growth in 2024 and beyond.
As commerce proliferates through social media, Nigerian businesses have a timely opportunity to tap into new digital demand and sales channels where consumers already spend considerable time. By implementing an effective social commerce strategy tailored to each platform’s strengths and target audience needs, brands can unlock new revenue streams while building closer, more lucrative customer relationships.
The tips and best practices covered in this guide equip Nigerian businesses with actionable recommendations on exactly how they can succeed at social media commerce in 2024. Following the playbook will enable brands to drive visibility, engagement, conversions, and sales efficiently.
Early leadership in leveraging social platforms for commerce can help businesses gain market share over competitors. As the supporting features, tools, and monetization models continue to advance, having the fundamentals in place positions companies for sustainable commercial growth tied to Nigerians’ digital lifestyles.
Businesses that focus on understanding consumer behaviours, creating targeted content strategies, and optimising seamless shopping experiences will ultimately master social commerce successfully.