2021 was a whirlwind in all aspects. TikTok made news by becoming the most downloaded app in 2021, surpassing Instagram and on the verge of becoming the social media king in 2022. While it is a significant turn of event in the digital space, what is more important is how it is currently transforming the marketing effectiveness through social media by slowly adapting the audience from social commerce to community commerce.
While Social Commerce refers to a person’s entire shopping experience through a social media platform from product discovery to the check-out process, community commerce is, in the lines of Institute for Digital Transformation, “an exchange of goods, services or something of value, between businesses or entities within a community.
Let us break it down for you. Imagine that a new video game is coming out and customers can preorder this from one particular store earlier than other stores. Now if the store owner simply posted it on all social media platforms it may not make much of a difference. But the same message can have a big impact among specific communities of video game enthusiasts. These community members will eventually let their fellow members know of this opportunity. In essence, by simply notifying the right group, their members will effectively market the products and generate pre-release buzz.
And this is just one example of Community Service!
The subject of difference here is the factor of community, and hence the matter of trust. If anything, the pandemic helped us find our own personal bubbles or communities where the factor of trust plays an important role. Community commerce involves knowing the source and trusting the peers, implicitly bringing trust into the equation. And this is exactly what social commerce has been missing. The community one builds their trust on becomes their source of safety and recommendations. And so anything that is recommended by this source by default becomes trustworthy!
According to WARC, ‘there is huge potential for brands to engage with audiences and increase unplanned purchases by narrowing the funnel between product discovery and purchase.’
Community Commerce is different to marketing models because it encourages audiences to create their own content featuring a brand. In other words, community commerce makes everyone an influencer. And how does it help the brand? It is basically word-of-mouth marketing TikTok-style! While TikTok doesn’t offer as many ad options as Instagram or Facebook, it definitely does influence user action, and purchase behavior in a much more effective manner, giving rise to community commerce.
Building community and improving customer experience has become a top priority of the year 2022 for many retailers, and community commerce seems to be the way towards it. Retailers and brands who are looking into community commerce will have to consider a number of elements, starting with whether a community commerce strategy is the right move and how to get started. Start by evaluating the community you are targeting and the role your products play within it. Once this is figured, you will know where and how the product/service is to be placed.
“The effectiveness of this strategy influencing the audience on TikTok has made us bet big on TikTok Community Commerce, as it is seamlessly transforming the marketing funnel into a flywheel. TikTok videos, and other similar platforms such as Instagram Reels, is giving the brands an opportunity to move consumers from ‘Awareness’ to ‘Active Awareness’, and eventually to ‘Conversion’ pretty quickly. We would like to see how community commerce will affect the digital marketing space and societal structure alike in the coming year”, says Faizan Babi, Account Director at Kreata Global.
Community commerce is an effective path to commerce capabilities for new organizations. It is important to remember that in this business model community comes first around a shared passion, belief or interest, and commerce is added later.