What is social commerce?

Social commerce is a type of electronic commerce that uses social media technologies to deliver a better customer experience and then turn your customer into a brand promoter. Social media technologies like product ratings, product reviews, blogs, micro-blogs, forums and social communities like google+ , Facebook & twitter are a powerful tool to build a long lasting relationship with the customer.

Importance of social commerce

Social commerce is an essential function of an e – commerce website because of the following reasons.

  • People do research before buying
    In that era the advancement in internet technology helps people to obtain more information when they needed, so people began to do research before buying a product. First they will go through the basic information about the product in e-commerce website, next they want to know more real life information from the people who already bought it. They do not believe the rating available in product page. They visit the communities that discuss about the product and get expert reviews. They don’t just ask about the product but also inquire about the quality of service offered by the e-commerce company.
  • More fan more value to your brand
    If you have a Facebook page lot of fans on that page your brand value will increase a lot. Now a day’s people start to evaluate a brand based on the number of fans in the band’s Facebook page and other social networking sites
  • More traffic to your website guaranteed
    As your fan starts share your page, posts & pictures more people will consider this information and they will start clicking on the post and finally the traffic to your website will increase.
  • Sales driven by referrals
    Referral based sales will increase the brand value as well as the trustworthiness of your brand. Social commerce is an ultimate tool for sales by referrals. In social networking website people from different regions having common views used to interact each other and people who are satisfied with your product and services will definitely refer your product to other people having same thoughts.
  • Low cost advertisement
    When you are proposing a new service or product, these offers should reach to the maximum number of people who may wish to consume it, within a small time frame. Social commerce is the best tool to promote your product effectively. Many of the social networking sites offer paid advertisement feature and they are guaranteed that the advertisement will reach to the exact buyers.

Historical evolution of social commerce

The term social commerce was introduced by Yahoo! In 2005 to describe shopping tools such as shared pick list user rating which ensure online collaboration. A time line of social commerce is shown below

We believe that social commerce began by selling virtual gifts on Facebook on February 2007. This virtual gifting gained $15 USD business before closing in august 2010. See more information about virtual gifts at https://www.facebook.com/notes/facebook/give-gifts-on-facebook/2234372130
Some of the highlights of ‘Social Commerce is shown below

Past present and future of social commerce

Social commerce began as a simple comment on the product page. That is people who bought the product on the page describing the product. These comments may contain reviews about the product and quality of service offered by the e-commerce site. Product rating technique also came along with this. Within few years social networking become a boom and social commerce expanded its root to social networking websites by developing fan pages (in Faceebook), friend circle (in Google+) and daily tweets (through twitter). Social commerce will grow more and more in the future and soon people will be able to purchase product from social networking websites without visiting the e-commerce websites. Social networking Giants like Facebook and Twitter are planning to build shopping carts and checkout facilities for their users.