Social media e-commerce has taken off — and it's showing no signs of slowing down. With social media selling, anyone can become an online merchant without having to invest in a website or give online marketplaces a cut of their profits. Here are 10 social media selling solutions to help you get started.
Want to sell on Facebook? The Soldsie Facebook app turns the social network's comments section into an e-commerce powerhouse. Typically, customers make purchases on Facebook by messaging sellers or leaving their email addresses. Instead, Soldsie's “Comment Selling” system eliminates all the back-and-forth communication by streamlining transactions. To start selling, connect Soldsie to your Facebook page, and upload product photos. These posts become your storefront, where fans can simply comment “Sold” to make a purchase. After commenting, they'll automatically receive an email invoice and proceed to checkout via PayPal or WePay.
Instagram isn't just a photo-sharing platform; it has also become one of the most popular online selling tools available. inSelly, an Instagram marketplace, facilitates the process by aggregating Instagram listings (using hashtags) and making them searchable to anyone around the world. Because it's a third-party platform, you'll first have to connect the app to your Instagram accounts. Next, add your contact information, pricing details and PayPal email address to start making sales and receiving payments. [‘Buy Button' Could Make Twitter Your New Storefront]
Hashbag is another Instagram selling tool that provides a centralized place to showcase Instagram listings. Sellers get their own storefronts on the Hashbag marketplace, while buyers search for items using hashtags. To start listing, first Instagram a photo of your product with the hashtag #forsale. You'll automatically receive an email asking you to log in to Hashbag, where you'll be able to set your price. The listing will then go live, and buyers can start making purchases via PayPal.
The hashtag is the universal language of social media, making it a powerful social selling tool regardless of the platform. Chirpify, a social commerce platform, takes unique campaign hashtags — referred to as “actiontags” — and uses them to enable purchases across multiple social networks. First, customers see the actiontag on social media, print, television and other marketing channels. Next, all they have to do is post the actiontag on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram to activate a purchase. Chirpify then responds immediately to collect payment and instantly convert sales.
Even if you own an e-commerce website, cross-selling products on social media is a great strategy to boost sales. One service that makes this possible is Beetailer, which lets online merchants import their store into Facebook. After the initial migration, the system is basically hands-free — it requires no installation, configuration or maintenance, and products are automatically updated based on the website's inventory data. Included in the service are marketing tools like campaigns and promotions, detailed analytics, and integration with existing checkout systems.
Designing Facebook page campaigns can seem like rocket science for people who aren't tech savvy. Heyo simplifies the process with a drag-and-drop campaign builder that anyone can use. The service works a lot like do-it-yourself website builders: Start by choosing a template, and then edit or customize elements to fit your campaign and brand. Whether you're running a contest, promotion or special deal, campaigns built on Heyo can then be easily plugged into your Facebook page — no coding necessary.