Social selling or shopping, just like the term implies, is not just the mere creation of social media brand profiles by the marketing team of a B2B or B2C company. It is in fact a process of research, monitoring and interactions between brands and potential customers. Considering that most social media users follow at least one brand on the platform, there is no denying that news feed exposure could drive sales, a phenomenon often observed in influencer marketing. In a mostly B2C setting, new shopping functions have surfaced (e.g. Instagram), giving a potential customer the opportunity to either directly buy from the platform or to be redirected to a shop. In a B2B setting, 46 percent of small companies with less than 10 employees had made a purchase after seeing an ad on social media in 2020, implying a strong shopping ad suggestibility. As ads have been around since the dawn of a consumerist society, they have asserted themselves into people's online experiences, giving the consumers incentives to shop from practically everywhere.
While offline shopping is a strong activator of senses, the mobile shopping experience has striven in the past years. Available in (almost) all formats of time and space, a omni- (or multi-) channel shopping experience has started to form. As social media marketing relates to a social exchange between individuals and/or other entities present on these platforms, companies can strengthen their position by engaging the customer using chatbots and ad personalization. This personified brand presence ideally supports the purchase loyalty, which is the ultimate goal of the customer-brand relationship. Over the years however, that communication has changed: while in 2018, 78 percent of French marketers considered the exchanges on social media as direct and personal, two years later, around 30 percent found these interactions to be increasingly commercial.