Social Media Could Dominate Retail in 2023

20th March 2023

How has social media changed the way you shop? Speaking to the team here at HDY – ease, convenience and cost were the recurring themes on the subject. It’s fair to say shopping online, especially via social media, has become a simple way to see new products. Placing those orders without leaving your timeline makes it super easy, but in 2023 we see social media taking shopping to the next level.

HDY Agency Social Media team looking at content on phone

Metaverse Shopper

The impact of social media shopping has meant that businesses have another avenue for sales. With businesses such as Meta (previously known as Facebook) leaning into new tech such as VR and AR, shopping experiences are set to be pushed to the next level, leaving retailers struggling to keep up.

Imagine you see a pair of shoes you like on an Instagram post, you tap ‘like’ and then it gives you the option to see how the shoes would look on your feet using augmented reality (no more risky buys!). This future is knocking on the door and will only get more common in the next few months.

Alongside creating AR products for you to ‘try on’, social media channels are aiming to mimic the in-store experience with virtual storefronts. Customers can browse products, see reviews, and make purchases from a stylised store, without ever having to leave the social media platform.

If your business sells a product we highly recommend setting up an Instagram shop to ensure your products are as visible as possible. Small to medium businesses will not be able to create 3D models without expertise and budget, so ensuring you are taking advantage of the tools platforms provide is going to be the best way of staying competitive.

TikTok Shop

Spent more than 5 minutes on TikTok recently? You may have seen your favourite content creator recommending products like you’ve changed the channel to QVC (other shopping TV channels are available!).

TikTok Shop has been around for a while now but over the past few months it has become more prevalent with more creators pushing products. Our resident social media and TikTok expert Winnie noted that ‘’Since the rise of the cost of living crisis in the UK, TikTok creators have been promoting offers and sales on household essentials as a way to craft relatable content.’’ 

Toilet roll deals are one of the hot items we have seen on our timeline and other team members talking about other viral products including neck massagers and desk treadmills. TikTok Shop offers creators an easy-to-join affiliate program that incentivises users to promote products for a kickback on items.

This level of social media shopping integration is one of the ways we see retail struggling, if the purchasing process becomes this streamlined TikTok shop could replace the weekend trip to the outlets if everything is cheaper online.

Retail needs to fight back

Devices such as the Meta Quest 2 are still a few years away from being on everyone’s heads 24/7 and until then we feel retail still has a place in consumers’ lives, they are just looking for more than a shop.

Terms such as ‘Retailtainment’ have become more popular in the past few years and we believe that the combination of retail and entertainment will be the most consistent way to ensure retail can fight back against the pressures from social media.

HDY Agency Co-founders Angel Gaskell and Ed James visited the USA at the beginning of 2022, on their travels they visited the American Dream mall, one of the largest shopping malls in the states with a built-in theme park, waterpark, ice rink, mini golf, aquarium, snow slope and more (lots more).

Angel spoke about how the mall paired both retail and experiential under one roof.

‘’The days of popping out to the shops for one or two items may be in the past but visiting a shopping centre can still aim to offer an unrivalled experience’’.

Traditional retail will be around for a while longer, we just hope to see more from it before we end up living in the Metaverse.

If your business is looking to sell on social media, our content marketing experts would love to have a chat. Click here to contact us and be sure to follow us on LinkedIn here.