Social commerce is the uses of social technology in the context of commerce, helping people connect where they buy and buy where they connect. With consumers purchasing items online, through social media, it’s not surprising to see businesses following their customers to support the purchase process. Shopping has always been a social platform from the beginning, and by merging social media with smartphone owning shoppers, the process has been highly simplified.
The field of social commerce has expanded profoundly, to include a wide range of social media tools and content used in the context of eCommerce. Consumers around the world express their likes on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other such sites daily. This makes retailers and brands around the world to focus their attention on social commerce.
The trend of smartphones has contributed greatly towards the growth and development of Social Commerce. Smartphones and tablets are very convenient shopping tools as they remain one of the most flexible tools for online shopping.
Emerging trends in Social Marketing
There are a few vital trends in this market that businesses need to look out for.
With an emergence of Social Commerce as the new way for people to shop, the way people pay is also going to evolve. The proposition of virtual currency is not as prominent as it is in the gaming world, but as people expect interaction with brands to stay the same from platform to platform, we will expect the same when it comes to buying products. The process from a consumer point of you is highly consistent, and a simple way for goods both online and physically as you have one complete ‘social’ bank account of currency.
People are getting more and more accustomed to shopping on Facebook as we become less inclined to leave the site if that’s where we found a brand. F-Commerce helps in building brand advocacy by helping brands get new products that are worth talking about into the hands of the people most likely to recommend them are brand fans.
“If I had to guess, social commerce is next to blow up.” Said Mark Zuckerberg (Founder of Facebook)
One aspect that’s proved to be highly beneficial for consumers as well as companies is the idea of rewards for social-based actions. The reason most people would follow a company through a social network is that we expect some kind of reward in return, such as a money-off coupon. More companies are incentivizing people to ‘play’ with them.
Advice before Purchase
Shopping is indeed a social experience, and you often want to get your friends opinions before buying a product, particularly when it’s an expensive item. With the advantages of social media there are many opportunities to access communities or groups that can rate the product and give you all the advice you need. Even though negative reviews are prominent, they’re more likely to feel more inclined to purchasing from a site where they have the safety of their friend’s opinion.
Social commerce changing online shopping
Research has shown that the most successful internet retailers brand their products on social networking websites, with social functionality within their own sites. The fact that internet users spend most of their online time on social media sites is one fact that cannot be ignored by marketing managers of various enterprises.
Social commerce offers business companies the opportunity to interact and engage with their target audiences, and motivate them to purchase their products without leaving the social media site. This mode of shopping has proven to be extremely convenient and user friendly. A customer can buy grocery items, fashion products, books restaurants; make airline reservations without leaving the social media site. All this can be done while they take advantage of exclusive Facebook deals. Such is the future of Social Commerce.