• May 30 2022

Product Discovery in Social Commerce: How it drives conversions

Today’s customers don’t have much time—they want a smooth experience that will guide them to the product they want fast. That’s why you need to think about product discovery. Making it easy for website visitors to discover products on your ecommerce store along with your social commerce activities lead to more conversions and happier customers. 

Imagine you’re entering a big supermarket and you’re looking for apples. The apples are at the other end of the store, and you have to walk 15 minutes to get to them. You’d be frustrated, right? Well, it’s the same with online stores. 

If your visitor struggles to find the product they want, they will also be frustrated. They’ll likely click off your site with a negative impression and little reason to return. In fact, a bad search experience could help your competition win up to 12% of customers. That’s why product discovery is essential—it ensures customers find what they’re looking for as easily as possible.

In this article, we’ll explain product discovery, its benefits for social commerce, and how it can help you increase conversions, Jump to:

Let’s go.

What is product discovery? 

Product discovery is the way customers can find and explore the products on your website. It facilitates the browsing experience and ensures customers can easily find what they’re looking for. There are several places where product discovery can start: 

  • on your website
  • on a search engine (most frequently Google)
  • on social media (social commerce) 

This means that you not only need to make products discoverable on your site but also put some effort into optimizing them for search engines. You can improve product discovery in different ways, including:

  • making your website search smarter
  • enabling visual search
  • offering smart recommendations 

The objective is to quickly enable users to find what they’re searching for—as well as items they didn’t know they wanted. Buyers don’t always know what they want—they could be casually browsing or going for a specific product. Good product discovery can turn both groups into satisfied buyers. 

What are the benefits of product discovery in social commerce?

The average person sees between 6,000 and 10,000 advertisements—that’s a lot of products.

When they are prepared to buy, businesses must not only present the product that meets their needs—but they must also do so at the proper time. This is the most efficient method for attracting and converting high-intent buyers. Many businesses have begun to use social media platforms to connect with their customers—hence the boost in social commerce initiatives.

55% of US-based social media users report having found and purchased a product via social platforms. Companies have swiftly recognized this trend—social commerce platforms are used by 85% of large businesses and 57% of small businesses.

Social commerce means leveraging social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and more to showcase and sell products. Social media shopping reduces friction and makes the shopping process even faster by allowing it to happen on social media. 

Here are the benefits of product discovery in social commerce: 

Improve conversion rates

Improve your conversion rates by recommending items and generally assisting users in finding the products they require. Customers are more likely to explore and buy items they are interested in when they see them promoted. Optimizing product discovery for social commerce improves the customer experience, increases conversions, and encourages users to come back for more.

 Meet customers where they are 

Working on product discovery means getting closer to your customers and meeting them on their own terms—using the language they use. If your customers are spending more time on mobile instead of desktop, you should optimize for mobile. If your customers are on Instagram, you should be on Instagram. Product discovery makes it easy for customers to find your products on social commerce platforms they most like to spend time on. 

 Fosters a community around your brand

People want a real relationship with your company besides just buying from you. Product discovery helps ensure you’re reaching the right customers with the right products. Social media enables you to share your products through creative storytelling techniques. Speaking up and showing that you care will attract an audience that shares your vision and values. 

This will help you create and foster a community around your products, communicating with the people you had in mind when creating your products. 

 A more engaging retail customer experience

Consumers increasingly demand that their online shopping experiences be as rapid and straightforward as the rest of their smartphone experiences.  Creating a smooth journey with one channel guiding to the other is key for securing more sales. People don’t want to manually jump from one platform to another—they want to start and end their purchasing journey with as little friction as possible. 

8 ways to boost conversion rates with product discovery

Now we’ve looked at the benefits of product discovery, let’s consider some practical examples of how you can use product discovery to boost your conversion rates. 

Create automated product tags

Manually recognizing and labeling product features is extremely costly and time-consuming, especially for an online seller with a large inventory.  Automatic tagging software enables businesses to tag products more efficiently and improves the visibility of objects in relevant searches. For example, in fashion, these tags could refer to color, cut, size, material, and more.

These tags can then be used for ecommerce personalization. Personalized recommendations show customers products related to what they’re looking for—resulting in a 15% increase in average order value.  When users are exposed to personalized, relevant information, they are more likely to convert. Furthermore, because customers find exactly what they came for, they are less inclined to leave their shopping cart or return a product.

ViSenze top tip: use powerful visual AI and machine learning to determine essential qualities quickly based on product information. 

 Use chatbots on-site

Visitors should be able to interact with your company in real-time—chatbots enable them to do just that. 

AI-informed chatbots are another way you can reach customers with product discovery recommendations. Advanced algorithms evaluate the customer’s profile, and use previous browsing history, past purchases, and currently viewed products to provide guidance and suggestions. 

In fact, research has shown that people who have engaged with chatbots are 67% more inclined to purchase from a business. Plus, that’s standard chatbots—product discovery chatbots have the ability to do so much more for converting consumers.

 Utilize ever-changing social media features

Thanks to the rise of social commerce, many social media platforms have started offering tools that help retailers sell their products directly on the platform. 

For example, Meta’s Facebook and Instagram have tools for enabling shopping, commerce management, checkout management, and more. They also help you get to your potential buyers through personalized ads and talk to them via their messaging platforms. 

As social commerce continues to evolve, platforms will keep adding new features to support product discoverability. In fact, the US social commerce market is booming—the market is expected to reach $84.2 billion by 2024.

Consider live shopping

Facebook Live Shopping allows you to create live-streamed shopping experiences. A live broadcast enables you to present items in real-world situations, including optimized product descriptions, and present buying choices front and center—all while you engage with your audience.

WIth Live Shopping, you can boost product discoverability by creating a product playlist specifically for your online events. This way, you can catch viewers’ attention with the products you want to sell, which will increase product discoverability. Moreover, you can showcase product demos and allow people to buy directly from your event. 

Plus, it’s not just Facebook that offers live shopping functionalities—Instagram and TikTok also enable vendors to sell via their platforms. Choose the platform that’s best for your product and demographic.

 Autocomplete search bars 

Customers frequently use synonyms, odd wording, or slang to find the products they’re looking for. Plus, who isn’t susceptible to making the odd typo here and there? 

Product discovery ensures that customers can always find what they’re looking for—regardless of their chosen wording or typing mishaps. 

Customers are frequently dissatisfied with the poor discovery experiences offered by the traditional search structure that’s restricted and excessively dependent on product tags. In fact, 18% of websites cannot identify existing products when even a single character is inserted wrong—which frequently leaves consumers scratching their heads.

An intelligent search solution that strengthens product tags with visual AI guarantees that customers will be shown the most adequate products for their search. Using AI-powered natural language processing (NLP) can improve your ability to identify search intent and present relevant results—ultimately increasing conversion rates.

Optimize website architecture for easier navigation

Although not identical, you should consider your website experience to be similar to that of a physical store. A congested, confusing, and difficult-to-navigate store is likely not your ideal shopping experience. 

The same applies to your online store. Visitors will not be able to locate what they want to buy if your site is complicated and difficult to navigate. That’s why you always need to think about the web architecture on your site. 

Visitors who’ve never been to your site should be able to find what they want quickly—as should buyers looking for a particular item. 

Follow industry standards and make the website accessible and intuitive to optimize product discovery. Ensure the navigation bar, the search bar, menus, and similar important components are easy to see and use—no matter the customers’ online proficiency.

Find the web architecture that works best for your products, and ensure there’s space to include related product recommendations. Make it easy for consumers to jump from one product to another when shopping online.

Personalize the buyer’s journey

Product discovery should be engaging and relevant throughout the purchasing process. Offer appropriate items based on your online shopper’s prior and present browsing activity. 

Use personalized recommendations to customize the buying experience for each customer—40% of US consumers have purchased something more expensive than planned because their experience was personalized

Use AI to offer personalized recommendations to users based on their browsing and purchasing history and the browsing and purchasing history of similar profiles. This enables you to show similar products to the ones the user is interested in, accessories to ‘shop the look’, and ‘you may also like’ suggestions.

 Work with social media influencers

Working with influencers can significantly improve your product discovery and boost conversion rates. 

60% of millennials prefer YouTube influencers over traditional media celebrities when seeking guidance, and 80% of consumers have bought a product via an influencer recommendation. These numbers just show how big influencer marketing is today. 

When buying a product, customers search for testimonials and reviews. Social platforms offer a great opportunity for you to get your products to your target audience with a badge of approval from their favorite online personality. 

It’s time to optimize for product discovery in your online retail store

Social Commerce

As technology evolves, so do customer expectations. To achieve and maintain success as an online retailer, you need to deliver outstanding product discovery.  It always comes down to the value you deliver to customers—whether you’re doing interactive shopping or multichannel commerce. Connecting customers to the products they’re looking for in a simple, personable, and frictionless way gets you more conversions and more loyal customers.

ViSenze can help you achieve this and more. 

From ecommerce personalization and on-site search, to AI image search and product tagging—the platform’s AI-powered ecommerce tools will take your ecommerce game to the next level and skyrocket conversion rates. 

Request your demo today to start ensuring your products are exactly where consumers expect them to be.


Product Discovery in Social Commerce FAQs

What can an online retailer site do to increase personalization?

There are several ways a retailer can increase personalization, such as by providing product recommendations and discount codes. The key to personalization is data—you need to understand your audience to provide a personalized approach to ecommerce transactions.

How to improve your ecommerce website?

Here are some ways to improve your ecommerce website:

  • Make website navigation intuitive
  • Strive for simple and clear design
  • Ensure rich product data with automatic tagging
  • Implement a chatbot for better responsiveness

These methods help you create better digital commerce experiences for your customers, thus increasing conversions and retention.

What are the best AI tools for social commerce product discovery?

Take a look at some of the ways AI tools can help with social commerce product discovery.

  • Smart Search: improve the searching experience with improved product tags and visual AI.
  • Smart Recommendations: show relevant products at each stage of the customer journey.
  • Smart Tagging: eliminate manual tagging and get rich product data with automatic tagging. 

Using social commerce merchandising tools in your ecommerce business speeds things up for your team, and ensures customers can quickly and easily find what they’re looking for.