Friday, November 26, 2010

The advent of Social Commerce

Of late, I had been thinking how Social Media could be integrated into various other realms. This time, how it can be plugged into E-Commerce. So, here goes...
So, what exactly is Social commerce? 
Well, in very simple words, Social Commerce is the use of Social Media in an E-Commerce environment.

As we all know, with the increasing amount of users on Social Networks (especially Facebook and Twitter) every day, the scope for carrying out Business on them has grown enormously.
Almost all the Sellers/Vendors have forayed into Social Media and made a significant presence there, in terms of their brand recognition and fan following. Thanks to Social Media, all of them have been able to build their own respective communities and narrowed down on their buyers to a great extent. Social Media is a great channel to reach out to your customers. Be it the arrival of the latest range of products or promotional deals or sales, the followers are up-to-date with everything.
As per a comScore Report, 23% of Twitter users follow businesses to find special deals, promotions, or sales, while 14% of Twitter users reported taking to the stream to find and share product reviews and opinions. According to another study by Chadwick Martin Bailey, it was observed that 25% of consumers connected to brands on Facebook did so to receive discounts. Another interesting fact that comScore found was- Facebook and Twitter visitors spend 1.5x more online than average Internet users. Therefore, with growing number of users on Facebook, Twitter and other social networks, the tendency to spend online also augments.


Social Commerce now has under its fold a variety of social media tools and content used in the context of e-commerce. A few of them are:
  • Customer ratings
  • Customer reviews
  • User recommendations
  • Social Shopping tools
  • Dedicated platforms (Forums and communities)
  • SEO
  • Social Advertising
More and more companies are coming up with strategies to capitalize on Social Commerce. Facebook came out with a new strategy wherein its members who use the company’s location-based ‘Places’ feature will be alerted to special deals and discounts offered by retailers in their vicinity. The users can take advantage of this feature by showing their phones at participating stores. Facebook said that this action would be posted on users’ news feed so that their friends might also utilize the special offers. Amazon is charting out its strategy as well.
Few of the most popular Social Commerce players are Amazon, Best Buy, Starbucks, Dell and Hallmark.
And here are a list of Social Commerce sites
  • ShopSocially
  • Kactoos
  • Groupon
  • BuyWithMe
So, what more do the Sellers need now, they’ve got dedicated Communities with active Conversations happening and now even the Commerce factor comes in to play. Your time is Now!

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