What is Social Commerce

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What is Social Commerce

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Social commerce is a type of e-commerce (electronic commerce) where goods and services can be purchased and sold through online social networks. The social networking website may offer rating services, online communities, advertising, F-commerce (Facebook commerce), sharing, and stores that allow buyers and sellers to transact online.

The term 'commerce' is usually used to refer to only a business component that focuses on the purchase and sale of products and services at a large scale (macroeconomic scale).

It is a combination of social networking and e-commerce. - it is a place where social media meets shopping.

What you get are consumer-driven online marketplaces of personalized shops created by individuals – all connected in a network. Shoppers can navigate from one shop to another via hyperlinks. In social networking, people connect with people, and perhaps brands are inserting themselves into that conversation. The goal of Social Commerce is also to connect people, but in this case, that is done around a subject or brand they are passionate about.

Social commerce & social media


In today's online marketplace, social commerce encompasses a wide range of shopping, recommending, and selling behavior patterns.

Social commerce – 7 categories
According to Lauren Indvik of Mashable, social commerce can be classified into seven different categories:

Social Network-Driven: 

Sales generated by social networking websites such as Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc.Within Facebook, these are referred to as F-commerce (Facebook commerce).

Peer-to-peer sales platforms: 

A private individual buys or sells products or services directly with another individual without a third party. Direct transactions are conducted between the buyer and seller. A community-based marketplace or bazaar exists on the Internet, such as eBay, Amazon Marketplace, or Etsy.

User-Curated Shopping:

Users post goods and services they desire to share with one another to encourage the creation of social shopping sites. These types of marketplaces are best exemplified by Svpply, Lyst, and The Fancy.

Group Buying:

It is offered at a discount if enough purchasers agree to buy it. The LivingSocial and Groupon websites are two examples of websites that offer this kind of marketplace.

Peer Recommendations: 

They are often found on sites containing reviews of products and services. Through social networks, users are frequently rewarded for sharing products and items bought with friends.

Participatory Commerce: 

Consumers can participate in the design, selection, or funding of the goods they purchase. The idea is that if buyers are involved as much as possible in the creation of goods, they will feel more at home when shopping at a particular business or store.

Social Shopping:  

Networked shopping is described by this slang term. Social shopping refers to e-commerce consumers sharing items, deals, coupons, want lists, product reviews, etc. via social networking services.

Some users may use affiliate lists when they write about shopping and products on social networks like Twitter and Facebook. A few examples are Motilo, GoTryItOn, and Fashion.


Why social commerce?


Social commerce makes shopping an interactive experience

Social commerce makes shopping an interactive experience in comparison with standard e-commerce.

It is easy for customers to consult their friends on purchases, flaunt those hot new hightops, read comments from other knowledgeable shampoo customers, and interact directly with the kombucha brands they enjoy.

The next best thing to a mall day out might just be social commerce for those who miss that aspect. (Although without an Orange Julius pit stop.)

Social commerce makes it easy to buy things.

You can see it, click it, and buy it. Using social media shops reduces friction along the consumer's journey, making it easy to complete the purchase process. You can find them. There's a product there. We have no choice but to check out.

In the end, every click of the mouse is an opportunity for a potential customer to change their mind. Your ad has to lead them to your website, add the product to their shopping cart, and fill in their credit card information. That's a lot of steps to lose their attention.

Let's get rid of those extra steps and just shop on social media.

There’s some serious money to be made
You'd be wise to market your products where your customers already hang out, if you want to get in on that action.

Instagram and Facebook account for 81% of shoppers' product research, while Pinterest accounts for 48% of shoppers' shopping priority. Isn't it a good idea to give 'em what they want?

Social commerce offers an instant focus group
In addition to accelerating the transaction process, social commerce also offers a great way to collect customer feedback.

There is a catalog of your merchandise out there for consumers to look at and discuss. There's no need for a crystal ball: your customers can simply tell you what they like or dislike.

If you want to grab your audience's attention, why not have them vote and provide input during the event? (How do you feel about my glow-in-the-dark backpack design? Do you like it?)

Having a clear understanding of who your customers are on social media, as well as a means of connecting with them, whether it be through comments or direct messages, provides personalized customer service.

It's the place where Millennials and Gen Z go to shop.
People in your target demographic are already online and ready to shop while scrolling if they are in the 18 to 34 age group.

In 2019, 48% of the U.S. internet users this age bought something through social media. There are 27% of those in that demographic who haven't shopped on social media yet, but are interested in doing so.

The modern mall looks like this. It's time to open up shop!

The power of hyper-tracking


allows you to tweak and target your advertising based on a wealth of customer data available on social. If you sell horse-print bathrobes, you can directly target the flannel-loving horsemen out there. A cute baby-sized sunglasses spread can be streamed directly to dads' feeds. With social commerce, you can get specific, ready-to-buy products in front of the exact people who will love them, in a way that traditional e-commerce and marketing cannot.

What are the best platforms for social commerce?


There are only a few social platforms that enable social commerce at the moment. However, as the interest (and revenue) grows, we're likely to see more of these social media brands integrate "shop now" buttons.

These social commerce platforms are currently available.

Facebook Shops


Lets you share news, connect with fans, and show off your adorable new logo on your Facebook Business Page. While you're there, why not try to sell a few things? You can do this by setting up a Facebook Shop.

Shops on Facebook can be customized. Make it easy for your customers to find what they're looking for by selecting collections and solutions and customizing fonts, images, and colors. You can import a catalog of products from your website or create one from scratch

Your Facebook shop will be accessible from your Facebook Page, Instagram profile, Instagram Shopping ads, and shoppable stories and posts.

Customers have the option of doing a direct Messenger chat with your business or doing an in-app checkout when conversion time comes. You can also direct them to your website.

It's nice to know that Facebook shops can be viewed as a test shop. The Customer Experience Center allows you to add items, manage orders, and even test out the customer experience.

Instagram Shops


Instagram is where 60% of people discover new products. Among them should be your products.

Instagram Shops allow users to buy products featured in their photos and videos from anywhere in the app.

First, you will have to create a Facebook Shop (see above). Your Instagram Shop will pull data from your Facebook catalog.

Storefront pages can display curated collections of products curated by business profiles. Every product has its own detail page with pricing, media, and a detailed description.

Businesses can use Instagram's Shopping Tags to tag their products in their Stories. Additionally, US brands can highlight their products in the captions and bios of their posts.

Instagram's Checkout lets customers use Facebook Pay to complete a purchase for U.S.-based businesses and creators. (Those without Checkout can use other tools to complete the purchase offsite.

If you want to set up your Instagram Shop, you just have to live in an eligible region and have an Instagram Business account that's connected to a Facebook page. Instagram's commerce policies and merchant agreement must also be followed.

It is probably also worth mentioning that Instagram Shops are only able to sell products and not services.

Pinterest


Okay, here is some news you should pin right now: Pinterest isn't just for social commerce. Pinterest does allow business accounts to create "Product Pins" (formerly Buyable Pins), which are displayed in your brand's Pinterest Shop.

It is important to note that these cannot be purchased through the app. When you click on a vase on Pinterest, you're taken to an ecommerce website to complete the purchase.

Tips and tricks for effective social commerce

Everything is set up in your shop. Selling is your top priority. To help you get the most out of this brave new digital shop-o-sphere, we provide you with these key tips and tricks.

Engage with your followers

Creating an effective social commerce experience requires keeping the "social" aspect in mind.

Getting rid of your catalog and forgetting about it is not an option. Authenticity, providing value, and offering interesting content; these are all skills people look for when interacting with brands online. Make it possible for people to move forward with their shopping journey through the use of a chatbot.

You will use the same best practices as you do when engaging your following.

Listen strategically

Your audience is right in front of you. Take advantage of the opportunity.

Be sure to pay attention to comments and shares on your Shop, and respond or assist your customers when necessary.

In addition to monitoring social media across all platforms, you can use the information to catch industry news and feedback outside your own bubble.

Encourage reviews

Online shoppers say 93% of reviews influence their decision. If you have a product people love, get them to help you promote it.

The collection of social proof is vital to building a positive reputation online, whether it's an automated follow-up email after a product is delivered or a contest to motivate previous customers to weigh in.

Create a carousel of positive reviews, post them on your social channels, or host a live video with happy customers to share your positive reviews. It's very easy to do this without sounding like you're bragging.

Target your reach

Take advantage of social media to showcase your products and Shop to the right people.

Remove those moments of friction

An easier purchase process increases the likelihood of someone following through. Is there any stumbling block you can remove?

Don't forget to include all those lingering details in the product description. Autofill options should be integrated into the purchase process. Create a chatbot that answers customer questions.

It's like a Grammy-winning Santana song: the smoother, the better.

Price your products to move

Various products can be successfully sold through social commerce - clothing, dog toys, risqué pottery - but luxury goods aren't typically successful.

Consumers are less likely to splurge on something with a higher price because there is a risk involved in buying something unseen.

Include products from your eShopCart store to social media posts 
Using social media to enhance your customers' online shopping experience is easy. It's likely that social commerce is just one aspect of your overall digital marketing strategy.


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