February 2024

Connecting the Dots on Social Payments

Learn the power of infusing social media with shopping

In today’s fast-paced digital world, consumers seek convenience and efficiency in every aspect of their lives, especially their purchasing experiences.

Enter social commerce, defined as the integration of social media platforms with e-commerce functionalities, including social payments.  

Jonathan Glifberg

Senior Manager Strategy and Value Creation at Nexi Group

The true power behind this convenient shopping solution is that it meets consumers right where they already are—on social media. It’s no wonder that accepting social payments has emerged as a powerful way for businesses to reach and engage with their target audience. Social commerce enables seamless transactions within the familiar social media environment, where they’re already spending so much of their time. 

The business benefits of adopting social commerce  

Social commerce is on the rise among social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok to promote, sell, and purchase products or services. It’s great for small and medium businesses because it grants access to social media’s interactive features, such as product listings, shoppable posts, and direct messages, to facilitate direct transactions with customers and provide personalized suggestions or showcase their offerings. This puts them directly in touch with customers to receive feedback, offer support, and stay connected for future promotions in a way that feels less like advertising and more like connection. 

Benefits for businesses don’t stop there. The adoption of social commerce can also create:

  • Increased brand awareness and exposure: Social media platforms provide businesses with a vast and engaged audience, allowing them to reach a wider customer base and improve brand visibility. 
  • Streamlined purchasing process: Social commerce eliminates the need for customers to navigate separate websites or e-commerce platforms, providing a seamless and convenient shopping experience directly within the social media environment.
  • Real-time sales opportunities: Social media platforms offer businesses the ability to take full advantage of real-time trends and events to promote special offers, discounts, and exclusive products, driving immediate sales opportunities.
  • Greater customer engagement: Social commerce enables direct interactions between businesses and customers, as mentioned above, enabling personalized recommendations, real-time feedback, and stronger customer relationships.

The power of integrating social payments 

Social commerce was created to seamlessly integrate with social payments, enabling customers to complete purchases without leaving the social media platform. These payments are typically facilitated through secure payment gateways that link directly to the customer’s preferred payment method. 

When we look at social payments specifically, we find even more benefits for businesses, including:  

  • Reduced friction and increased conversion rates: By eliminating the need to redirect customers to external payment gateways, social payments streamline the checkout process, leading to reduced friction and increased conversion rates. 
  • Enhanced customer convenience: Social payments offer customers a convenient and secure way to make purchases without stepping out of their current online experience.  
  • Lower costs and improved efficiency: Social payments eliminate the need for businesses to process payments and convert currencies, reducing transaction costs and improving operational efficiency.

Social Commerce in Europe

Europe lags behind Latin America and Asia Pacific in social commerce uptake due to tight regulations and unique retail and cultural factors. Nonetheless, usage is gradually increasing.

Social media in Europe serves primarily as a channel for communication and information, with only 13% using it for commerce, reflecting distinct consumer preferences and behaviors that diverge from global trends. 

Facebook and Instagram dominate Europe’s social commerce landscape with 24% and 16% user preference respectively, platforms like YouTube, TikTok, and WhatsApp show potential but lag behind. 

Europe’s social commerce market is experiencing rapid growth, with revenues projected to increase from US$18.39 billion in 2022 to US$26.72 billion in 2023, and penetration among online shoppers expected to reach 21.6% by 2027. 

As social media continues to evolve and permeate daily life, social commerce and social payments are poised to play an increasingly significant role in the retail landscape.

Businesses that embrace these innovative technologies will be well-positioned to capture the attention of consumers right where they are, effectively driving business growth for many years to come.