5 Best Social Commerce Examples of All Time

Karishma Borkakoty

February 12, 202413 min read

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It was the year 2007 when Dell introduced @DellOutlet, an X (formerly known as Twitter) account with a distinct purpose: to offer discounted and refurbished Dell products through tweets. Social media had never seen anything like it! While the world used social platforms to chat about daily life, Dell saw a different kind of opportunity. 

Word spread like wildfire and other brands started to take notice. Dell had paved the way for what we now call “social selling.” The idea of transforming social media platforms into virtual storefronts was born. 

While Dell may not claim the title of being the absolute first to explore social selling, its pioneering account, @DellOutlet, marked the dawn of a new era in social media and sales. 

Since then, the landscape of social commerce has continued to evolve and mature every single day. Social commerce, which is the process of selling products directly through social media platforms, is reshaping the entire retail landscape. According to Statista, internet users spend an average of 151 minutes on social media daily. Now, that's a lot of time for brands to get our attention. 

Some brands are already getting it right, guiding their social media followers all the way to the checkout button, right from their feeds. Soon, we might even witness millions of brands selling their products within this expansive social commerce ecosystem. In fact, Accenture predicts that, by 2025, the social commerce market will grow three times faster than traditional e-commerce, reaching a staggering value of $1.2 trillion globally.  

As social commerce gains traction and becomes more accessible, loads of brands are diving in headfirst and seeing some amazing results. As such, in this article, we'll explore top social commerce examples of how  certain brands are excelling in this arena and creating a buzz. 

Who knows, maybe there’s a neat trick or two you could borrow from them, right?  

Download Report: Accelerate your social-selling strategy with conversational commerce 

Table of Contents

Social commerce examples to get ideas and inspiration from 

Let's dive into five stellar examples of companies that have got social commerce right. 

5 social commerce examples 

  • Charlotte Tilbury 

  • Kylie Cosmetics 

  • Milk Bar 

  • CLUSE 

  • Snug 

Charlotte Tilbury

Uses the latest metaverse technologies to create immersive virtual shopping experiences 

This cosmetics brand was one of the first to create a digital storefront using virtual reality (VR). Back in November 2020, they did something interesting — it launched a 3D digital store. What’s that, you ask? Well, it’s like stepping into a video game but for makeup and skincare. You can roam around, get personalized tips from virtual store associates and even catch live tutorials right in the same digital store.   

Plus, the brand included this new feature called “Shop with Friends” that lets customers bring their friends and family into a video call and explore the virtual store together, similar to a multiplayer video game environment. They've even added a fun twist with a game where customers search for hidden keys while they shop.   

To top it off, Charlotte Tilbury hosts live shopping events on TikTok. It has even partnered with influencers to showcase its products, and, sometimes, there are special discounts for those buying directly from the brand’s TikTok UK events.

An influencer reviewing Charlotte Tilbury-s lipsticks on TikTok. .

Source 

Very recently, Charlotte Tilbury even launched a free standalone app. This new app blends shopping with expert tutorials and videos. It leverages AI to help match users with their correct makeup shades and provides guidance on how and where to apply products.  

The best part? You can even shop for celebrity looks that Tilbury has put together. What’s more, models like Kate Moss and Jourdan Dunn have mini-pages on the app where you can check out and buy their favorite products. 

Kylie Cosmetics 

Taps influencer power to sell beauty products  

Kylie Cosmetics, a vegan beauty brand founded by Kylie Jenner, knows how to use social media for its business. Since 2015, they've been taking over Instagram with captivating posts, reels and guides. You can see every product they have right there in your Instagram feed if you follow Jenner.  

But that's not all. Kylie's big on TikTok, too. She's constantly dropping new products there, so her followers are always in the know. This social media marketing strategy is particularly effective in announcing new product releases, ensuring immediate visibility in the market.    

Kylie Cosmetics was an early adopter of TikTok's social commerce functionality. And Kylie Jenner tags her products in videos, which link to a shopping page on the brand's TikTok profile. With these smart moves factored in to the marketing equation, it’s no wonder that customers are all set to shop for their favorites from the brand’s TikTok page before they know it.

 Kylie Jenner's personal account on Instagram where she promotes her make up products

Source 

Read More: 7 smart uses of influencer marketing and why they’re effective 

Milk Bar 

Showcases its mouth-watering pastries for direct social media purchases 

Tucked away in the East Village of New York City, a quaint bakery named Milk Bar was born in 2008. It was the dream project of celebrity chef Christina Tosi. From those modest beginnings, Milk Bar has since become a key player in the national e-commerce world, tempting taste buds far and wide with its ice cream, cakes, cookies and pies.  

Just before the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020, 75% of Milk Bar's revenue came from their physical stores. The rest was from selling products online. But when the business landscape changed with the pandemic, they had to switch things up. Christina leaned into using Instagram, especially for selling directly on the social platform, and it's been a massive part of how Milk Bar kept doing well in the pastry world.

 New York's famous bakery Milk Bar's Instagram account with 866K followers

Source 

Initially, Milk Bar started by leveraging live videos and sharing attention-grabbing photos of their treats on Instagram. This strategy was particularly effective during the initial lockdowns when social media usage surged. By doing so, it not only caught the eye of many potential customers but also provided a perfect platform for showcasing the available product range. This display was effectively utilized for direct purchases through its Instagram storefront. In short, Milk Bar's Instagram profile has evolved into an ideal mix of inspiration, engagement and shopping convenience, effectively combining visual appeal with e-commerce functionality. 

CLUSE 

Gives its followers a glimpse into a digital shop’s window 

Back in 2013, a Dutch brand called CLUSE started up in Amsterdam, setting its sights on creating stylish watches and jewelry. And now? It's taking the e-commerce world by storm, with Instagram playing a big part in that success story. 

CLUSE's Instagram account showcasing a variety of women's and men's watches.

Source 

CLUSE's approach to Instagram transcends traditional marketing. By treating its Instagram page not just as a social media platform but as an integrated digital storefront, they've streamlined the customer buying journey. Users can browse, get detailed product information, share their concerns with customer service and seamlessly transition to the website to make a purchase if they choose to. Each product on its Instagram page comes with a handy "View shop" button, making it super easy for users to go straight to the website. Now, that's a major traffic booster right there. 

A CLUSE product carousel on Instagram displaying the View shop button under its first image.

Source

The brand’s social feed is a vibrant mix of posts and pictures that feature real people wearing their products — we’re talking customers, influencers and more. You see something you like, you click and you buy. It's as simple as that. And it's working for them. They've seen a 19% increase in conversion rates, thanks to their unique social commerce strategy. Today, CLUSE has successfully built an amazing online community that loves the brand and its products. 

For CLUSE, it’s all about authenticity, community and making it super-easy for customers to transition from liking a photo to purchasing a product. For anyone in the e-commerce game, CLUSE is definitely a brand to “watch” — pun intended. 

Snug 

Aims to disrupt the furniture industry by finding new ways to reach and interact with its customers 

Snug, the London-based D2C sofa company, is reshaping the furniture industry. Not only do they offer lightning-fast delivery (we're talking one day), but they also sweeten the deal with a 100-day trial period. This winning combination played a huge role in the brand raking in an impressive £31.6 million (that's about $41.4 million) in revenue in 2021, owing to their clever use of social media. 

While chatting with Econsultancy, Rob Bridgman, the founder and CEO of Snug, shared an intriguing observation. He mentioned, “People spend more time researching which sofa to buy than which house.” This perspective really goes to the heart of Snug's approach. They're all about simplifying the process of choosing and buying a big-ticket item like a sofa. It's no wonder they're using platforms like Instagram and Pinterest to reach potential customers who are seeking inspiration and practical ideas for their living spaces. 

Snug's official Pinterest account

Source 

Bridgman also detailed their latest Instagram Live event in his conversation with Econsultancy. The event was a hit, with virtual attendance comparable to filling Wembley Stadium with over 12,000 people. It generated a staggering 40,000 comments, averaging about 20 comments per second. Bridgman highlighted the event's unique blend of social media, instant messaging, live streaming, celebrity appearances, shopping and gamification, all packed into a 40-minute live session. This creative fusion of entertainment and e-commerce led to record-breaking traffic and revenue, marking a significant milestone for the company. 

How to use social commerce in your marketing strategy and grow sales 

Have these examples got you all pumped up? Are you ready to jump into the social commerce pool and give your ecommerce efforts a social twist? All right, then.  

Here are seven savvy tips to keep up your sleeve so you can make waves in the social shopping scene. 

Tip #1: Utilize social commerce features on various platforms

Social commerce is becoming more seamless, thanks to features like direct checkouts on platforms like Facebook and Instagram. These features, which were introduced around 2020, are essential for your social selling strategy. They simplify the customer's buying journey, eliminating the need to jump from social media to a website just to make a purchase. Gone are the days of the cumbersome buying process where customers had to hop from a social post to a website to make a purchase. Now, the in-app checkout function lets shoppers buy instantly. Just imagine, each month, 130 million Instagram users are clicking “Buy” on the app. That’s the power of social commerce at work.  

Get Inspired: B2B Social Selling: A Perfect Guide To Increase Sales Pipeline  

Additionally, many other Instagram e-commerce features make shopping experience on social media a breeze for buyers. These include: 

  • Instagram shopping tab 

  • Instagram live shopping 

  • Shopping sticker on Instagram stories 

  • Products tags in posts 

Tip #2: Get to know your audience inside out 

Do your homework on your audience base. Who are you aiming to connect with? Every social media app has its own crowd. For example, social commerce resonates really well with Gen-Zers and millennials. And Pinterest is a favorite among millennial women. So, do your research and tune your posts and campaigns to the right audience. 

Tip #3: Understand how to promote and sell on social media

Social media platforms thrive on strong and vibrant visuals, so leveraging Instagram Stories and TikTok's short-form videos is a must for your social commerce strategy. Take a leaf out of the books of small-to-medium-sized businesses on TikTok and Instagram that ditched overt ads. These businesses have aced the art of social selling by simply creating relatable and engaging short-form videos and fun-filled content that humanizes their brands.  

Go for playful, user-friendly content that can connect well with your audience and their current mood. Mix it up with both pre-recorded and live-streamed events, as well as Q&A sessions if you want more engagement.  

Read More: Social selling implementation: 2 ways to encourage seller adoption 

Tip #4: Research thouroughly and identify your top social channels

Avoid the common mistake of trying to be everywhere. Focus on platforms where your audience is most engaged. A great way to gauge this is through audience insights. Remember, the ideal social media channel varies based on who you're targeting and what you're selling. While fashion and beauty brands often find success on Instagram, tech products could have better engagement on Facebook or LinkedIn. So, tailor your choice of content accordingly for the best results. 

Free E-book: Unlocking More From Your Sales Team: Social Selling for B2B Brands 

Tip #5: Go all out in leveraging user-generated stories and reviews as social proof 

Social proof is like a seal of approval for your brand from customers. Think user reviews, positive feedback on Facebook or user-generated content– these are goldmines of social proof. When customers see positive reviews or appreciation posts about your products, they feel more confident to try them out without any second thoughts.  

And here’s the best part: Incorporating social proof, particularly with engaging social media imagery, can significantly boost the chances of a purchase. In fact, nearly two-thirds (62%) of consumers from countries like Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the UK and the US reported they are more likely to buy a product if they can view customer photos and videos. 

Tip #6: Transform social media into a customer communication channel

Research shows that when someone complains on social media, 42% expect a response within an hour. And more than half of people actually prefer to reach out to a brand on social media for help instead of calling or emailing. These stats clearly show how social media has taken over as the key channel of customer communication.  

For example, if someone buys a product on social, they expect customer support there, too. Understanding this need, a few brands have also leveraged AI-powered chatbots across social media channels to offer customer service that's quick and fits seamlessly into the social shopping space. 

Interesting Read: The 5 killers of customer care on social and how to save the day for your customers and brand 

Tip #7: Leverage analytics to understand how shoppers are perceiving your brand and products 

Before stocking up inventory for a large order of your products, it's wise to understand your potential customers' opinions about your products in the market. This means leveraging analytics to gauge both product perception and social commerce performance.  

A social listening tool can help you listen to your customers better. You can get a clearer picture of what they are saying and why they’re commenting about your products or new campaigns in a particular way. Pay attention to the comments (both positive and negative) that your content receives, as they're a direct indicator of public reaction to your campaigns.  

Learn More: 4 key considerations for your conversational commerce platform 

Final thoughts 

Needless to say, with more shoppers flocking to their favorite social platforms for purchases, social commerce is a must-have in your marketing mix. However, one of the most common challenges with omnichannel businesses is a lack of integration with social media platforms. In other words, the social commerce capabilities that are native to the respective social apps are all siloed and separated. As such, a unified platform experience is the key to solving the issue.  

Sprinklr Social offers a unified conversational commerce platform, which can help you meet customers on any of the 30+ modern channels you prefer, thereby building strong 1:1 relationships and turning casual conversations into scalable sales.   

2024 is set to bring pivotal changes to the social commerce space. And if you haven't jumped on the social commerce bandwagon yet, it's high time you do. Start crafting a social media strategy that not only covers all those different channels but also makes shopping as comfy and enjoyable as lounging on your own couch. That's what today's savvy customers are looking for.

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