There’s a growing expectation that all content in the future will be shoppable. The trend of social media platforms to expand their e-commerce features has expedited rapidly, in part due to the pandemic.

However, if you’re struggling to keep up with new developments you are not alone, so here are a few of the latest trends.

Facebook and Instagram lead the way 
Facebook  has already been ahead of the game when it comes to pushing e-commerce with the well established Marketplace feature. With the new Storefronts feature for both Facebook and Instagram, shoppable content has now become a regular occurrence on our feeds. Even the Shop button sits front and centre to our Instagram navigation bar, a real statement of intent from the platform – much to the irritation of some users.

TikTok is playing catch up – fast
TikTok’s current e-commerce offering is arguably still behind those of Facebook and Instagram but following a recent extension of their deal with Shopify from the US to Europe, millions of retailers and creators can now connect their stores to billions of TikTok users and we can expect to see their e-commerce offering grow in the coming months.
The platform has already been testing shoppable ads and trialled a major live-stream shopping experience with Walmart in December last year.
TikTok also launched the “Small Gestures” feature which enables users to send free, virtual gifts from select brand partners within the app as a small step to facilitating shopper-like behaviour.

Live shopping is set to be BIG
According to Facebook’s survey of 12,000 users last year, 27% tried live shopping and 89% expected live shopping to increase.
This makes the rapid growth of live social video platform, Twitch, particularly interesting when it comes to e-commerce and social content. No doubt that was in the minds of Amazon when they acquired it in 2014.
According to Twitch HQ however, the focus for the creator-led platform remains on gaming, subscriptions and brand building. Nevertheless, this platform could dominate live-shopping online in the not too distant future.

Although the major social platforms may be at different stages of their development, they are all heading towards building a more seamless shopper experience for users. From content discovery to in-app purchases, in the future, you will never have to leave your curated feed to spend money.