Social commerce is a very big industry already, both overseas and in South Africa. Currently, in terms of social commerce, there are a number of strategies that are making waves: customized recommendations, f-commerce (Facebook commerce) and “sharing” purchases with friends before buying and social based rewards.
On an international platform, social commerce has taken the online marketing world by storm and there are a lot of big brands that are seeing big results. Locally, social commerce is booming, and you would be wise to incorporate a social commerce campaign as part of your business advertising.
What is social commerce?
Social commerce is a subset of electronic commerce that involves using social media, online media that supports social interaction and user contributions, to assist in the online buying and selling of products and services.
More succinctly, social commerce is the use of social network/s in the context of e-commerce transactions.
The term social commerce was introduced by Yahoo! in November 2005 to describe a set of online collaborative shopping tools such as shared pick lists, user ratings and other user-generated content-sharing of online product information and advice.
The concept of social commerce was used to get advice from trusted individuals, find goods and services and then purchase them. The social networks that spread this advice have been found to increase the customer’s trust in one retailer over another.
Today, the area of social commerce has been expanded to include the range of social media tools and content used in the context of e-commerce, especially in the fashion industry. Examples of social commerce include customer ratings and reviews, user recommendations and referrals, social shopping tools (sharing the act of shopping online), forums and communities, social media optimization, social applications and social advertising.
Have a look at this infographic on social commerce, showing how prevalent it will become, especially in the online industry.
(click on the picture to the right to enlarge it)