Social commerce is a fantastic type of ecommerce that combines the reach and influence of social network platforms together with the accessibility and availability of ecommerce processes. In essence, social commerce is the process by which social networking platforms implement ecommerce features into their products – this allows users to make purchases for goods and services directly through their social media profile.
Examples of social commerce include Facebook marketplace, Instagram shoppable feed, Pinterest buyable pins and Twitter sponsored tweets.
So Why is Social Commerce Such a Popular Tool?
Firstly, the popularity of social network platforms means that social commerce allows users to make purchases without even traveling to a new website. It is easy, straightforward and hassle free. A user for example, can log in to Facebook, check their news feed, and then visit a marketplace and make a purchase without ever having to leave her browser – how easy is that?
Secondly, social commerce taps into our desire to follow brands on social media and creates a sense of loyalty between the customer and business. Users can benefit by following a brand through social media and using its social commerce processes in the following ways:
Social media platforms often work in conjunction with businesses to create promotions and to offer voucher codes. This gives users an incentive to use the platform and make a purchase. Users understand this and realize that by following a social media brand, they can potentially benefit financially. A prime example of this is how Facebook has worked with eBay to showcase a series of daily deals.
If a consumer hasn’t decided on a specific brand, they may miss out on these deals or be frustrated trying to follow many brands. That’s where curation sites, like 16best.net, that collect deals from many sources and put them all in place provide value. They act as a gateway to social commerce helping consumers connect discounts with their favorite or newly discovered brands.
By using social media, users are often privy to product information and info about new releases, etc. Businesses often promote their latest products and provide useful content for their customers through social media. This is convenient for both the customer and business. An example of this is how Activision posts trailers and videos of their latest Call of Duty titles on Facebook and Twitter.
This is possibly one of the most interesting and important reasons for brand loyalty on social media. Many businesses now operate customer service channels through social media. Popular UK supermarkets Sainsbury and Tesco both respond to customer service queries through Twitter if users use the @ function to tag them. This type of fast and responsive customer service avenue is hugely popular and allows customers an unparalleled level of connection with a business.
Some people simply like to read and watch entertaining content through social media! By interacting with a brand and following their social media platforms, users are often made aware of fun content that is not available elsewhere.
In most traditional forms of marketing and digital commerce, it is difficult to provide direct feedback. You may be able to leave a product rating or send a disgruntled email but that’s the limit. Following a brand on social media allows users to offer feedback directly – you can tag a business in your social media posts, for example, or even post on their wall/send them a direct message. This type of instant communication is highly effective and takes user/customer engagement to a new level.
Social commerce is popular for a reason. The benefits that social media provide are numerous and customers have a plethora of tangible reasons to follow their favorite brands and make purchases through their social media channels. Explore the infographic, Social Networks e-Commerce Gateways for more.
Guest Post by Josh Wardini, Community Manager at Webmastersjury
Location Incapable Internet Enthusiast | Re-Designer of the World Around | Bodybuilder trapped in a Computer Geeks Body