Social commerce differs from conventional social media marketing where customers view content from a brand and then go to their website to begin shopping. Potential buyers can use social commerce to explore brands, find products, and make purchases all without leaving the social media app.

Although the title of this blog article is "What is social commerce?," it might be more appropriate to label it "Do you want to increase your online sales and make some more money?"

The market for the social commerce industry in United Kingdom is expected to grow by 37.5% on annual basis to reach £17400 million in 2022. On numerous platforms, social commerce features are starting to take off, giving both large and small businesses new options. Brick and mortar companies were impeded by the COVID-19 outbreak. Executives now support digital transformation completely. The Sprout Social Index 2021™, UK & Ireland report found 63% of consumers bought from social media in the past year which is why social commerce is booming.

Social Commerce Platforms

So far, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest have all rolled out social commerce tools. Others arefollow closely following closely behind, with YouTube experimenting with "buy now" buttons. 

Social commerce allows you to click "shop now" when you see a cool shirt on your Instagram feed and finish the transaction there in the app. Another option is to click "Buy" when you see a picture of a refreshing organic beverage while going through your Facebook page. After making your purchase, you can immediately resume browsing through the photos of your old friends on Facebook. Others aren’t far behind, with both YouTube and TikTok exploring “shop now” buttons. Twitter is experimenting with a new card format that features a large “Shop” button, as well.

So far, four major platforms have introduced social commerce features:

The social commerce buying experience is seamless; with social commerce, you might see a funky shirt on your Instagram feed, hit “shop now” and complete the purchase right there in the app. Or, you could see a picture of a refreshing organic drink as you’re scrolling through your Facebook feed, and click “Buy.” Once your purchase is complete, you can continue to enjoy your usual Facebook experience by scrolling through pics of your childhood friends, without missing a beat.


You share news on your Facebook business page, interact with customers, and showcase new products. Why not make some money while you're there by selling a few things? Create a Facebook Shop to enable you to do that. Facebook's social commerce service is free to use on your business page. 

Facebook Shops offer total customisation. Select which products to highlight, and alter the fonts, graphics, and colours to reflect your brand. Create a new inventory list from a spreadsheet, or import an existing catalogue of products from your website if your e-commerce solution is supported as a partner platform.

Customers can make a purchase on your website or in the app after discovering your products. Within Messenger, sellers can speak with customers to answer inquiries, provide advice, and more.


To create an Instagram store, you must link your Facebook and Instagram company profiles. Instagram Shops allow users to buy things that are shown in your pictures and videos anywhere inside the app.  Instagram is a visual platform, it provides additional options for innovative social commerce promotion. 

Use Instagram product tags to make your post shoppable and make it easier for customers to find your products. In your videos and blogs, you may use product tags to highlight certain products from your store so that viewers can tap a tag to learn more instantly. Your products' chances of appearing in places where customers gather to shop, like the Instagram Shop tab, can be improved by adding tags to them.


Pinterest is a platform for visual search across social media. Users pin vacation destinations, make mood boards, and, most crucially, find new items. Every month, more than 400 million users use the platform to look for products and get ideas. What's best? Pinterest searches are unbranded 97 percent of the time. Businesses can attract potential customers who aren't yet aware of their products by adding product listings from their online store to Pinterest.

Product Pins are not direct social commerce tools because customers still must go to a webpage that is particular to the product in order to make a purchase. These shoppable pins provide additional sections for pricing and availability information and have the same visual style as normal pins.

Using the Pinterest for Shopify app, brands on Shopify can link their product catalogue to their Pinterest business page. If you're using another e-commerce platform, you can still set up Product Pins by manually utilising Graph,, or oEmbed. 89%of Pinterest users are actively looking for purchasing suggestions. Pinterest Product Pins put your business in front of ready consumers despite the setup procedure requiring some technical expertise.


TikTok is a relatively new player, but because to its huge growth, anyone might believe that it has been a social commerce platform for much longer than it actually has. 

Despite having a six-year advantage, the video-sharing network is expected to surpass Instagram's 48.2 million US users by 2025, reaching 48.8 million. However, users of TikTok aren't merely amusing themselves by swiping through the app. According to TikTok, 39% of users have found a brand or product via TikTok that they were previously unaware of.


Nathan Hoare

Digital expert with extensive global marketing experience