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The Expansion of Social Commerce

The Expansion of Social Commerce


- Gautam

An online marketplace is a system of connecting consumers with goods and services directly, rather than through a brick-and-mortar store. 

The internet has opened up a new space for entrepreneurs to grow their businesses, but also a place where small businesses can thrive when integrated into an online market. Social commerce takes advantage of the social media aspect of the internet in making that connection between consumer and product more direct. 

In addition to retail information, users may sell products on websites such as Facebook or Pinterest, add links to e-commerce sites like Amazon in their profiles, or even share products they find interesting to others via Twitter or Instagram. The expansion of social commerce means that an increasing number of brands are incorporating social media tools to push products through social media outlets

Social commerce is becoming more important for brands because consumers are actively using social media to expand their internet presence and power online buying behavior.

What Is Social Commerce?

Social commerce is defined as the use of social media websites and applications for creating sales transactions between individuals who want to buy and sell goods or services. 
This means that many eCommerce websites have now integrated social features into their platforms in order to increase online sales.

What makes social commerce different from regular e-commerce?

It has been said that "E-Commerce 2.0" will be driven by social technologies, but what does that really mean? 

The key difference between regular e-commerce and social commerce is that it integrates people into the sale of goods and services through platforms like Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, etc.
While a brick-and-mortar store can sell a product to a single buyer at a time, online shopping gives businesses a much larger reach, as well as the ability to interact directly with their consumers.

Why is Social Commerce so popular?

Social media has become the perfect model for making sales, whether to gain new customers or gain customer loyalty. Social commerce is particularly powerful because it allows brands to honor their existing consumer base while also finding new ones by utilizing Facebook and Twitter platforms.

If a brand can explore social media in an effective manner, they open up access to just about everyone who uses social media on a daily basis. 

Brands looking to integrate into the market should be prepared with competitive pricing, good communication with potential buyers/followers, and well-organized information that will engage consumers in clear and concise ways.

Is mobile shopping taking over social shopping?

Mobile shopping has been said to be taking over social shopping, and it is definitely becoming a part of the social commerce landscape. 

One reason that mobile devices are so popular for eCommerce is that people can access their accounts from any device, which gives them access to more than one account at a time. Within these accounts, they can find what brands they follow, search for products they'd like to purchase, and communicate with brands through their profiles.

As of July 2021, Facebook reports 81.8% users on its mobile app. This demonstrates how important it has become to have an easy mobile presence in order to reach your consumer base, as well as marketing tools that will help expand your business into this growing medium.

Benefits Of the Expansion Of Social Commerce

The key benefit to business owners who integrate social commerce into their market strategies is an increased customer reach - which includes international customers. Businesses are able to improve their brand loyalty by offering rewards, contests, and other incentives for returning customers.

Businesses also benefit from having more opportunities to engage with their customer base through social media platforms that are already established as effective marketing tools. With the help of a good social media consulting firm, these opportunities can be even greater.

Though these kinds of consulting firms can advise businesses to implement social commerce into their market strategies in various ways, some of the most popular methods include:

  • Adding eCommerce features on sites like Facebook or Pinterest
  • Creating stores within websites where people can shop directly on those sites
  • Developing applications that allow users to buy products without leaving the app 

How does 5G technology relate to social commerce?

5 G's capabilities could be a game-changer for social commerce. Social media platforms will likely be used more to share 5G experiences than any other factor. 

If your company is looking to appeal to customers who are most likely to utilize this emerging technology, then you should consider how it can work into your social media marketing strategy now before the market becomes over-saturated with companies attempting to capitalize on its popularity. 

There are also ways that businesses can use 5G as part of their business model beyond just increasing online sales, such as through increased real estate ads or virtual reality experiences 5G stands for "fifth-generation wireless communication." It's the newest mobile telecommunications standard that has been developed in order to significantly improve network speed, reliability, and mobile data capacity.

This allows users to do everything from watching videos via streaming services such as Facebook or YouTube, playing high-quality games, downloading content quickly - essentially anything that involves a lot of online activity.

Will NFTs be important for social commerce?

Yes, and it's already happening! NFTs (non-fungible tokens) are currently being used for digital trading between gamers. However, the underlying blockchain technology that makes this possible is what will make them important in social commerce as well.

Blockchain enables peer-to-peer transactions without an intermediary such as Amazon or eBay by using cryptographic data to verify each transaction. For business owners, this means lower fees and no need to worry about dealing with fraudulent purchases.

Blockchain also has benefits for customers: like cryptocurrencies, they can be transferred easily and directly from person to person through a decentralized system (they aren't connected to any bank or government). This means privacy from third parties who have been known to sell personal information or keep it for their own use.

How does social commerce use AI?

Following a recent study, a business using social media is actually more likely to have been affected by AI than one that's not.  This is primarily because the most common social media platforms were created around the same time as this technology became popular and still use it today. 

In turn, this means that users of these platforms are already used to working with automated responses from chatbots or virtual assistants. Social commerce largely utilizes AI by utilizing chatbots for marketing purposes; many companies also use them as virtual customer service reps on their sites and apps to provide customers with 24/7 support.

Is voice search part of social commerce, too?

Yes! In fact, a recent M/A/R/C Research Study found that around 40% of consumers have used their voice assistants to shop online. This highlights the increasing importance of providing a streamlined search option on your site.

It's now key for companies to utilize all channels of their marketing strategy, including voice search, as this is the direction that social commerce is moving: from the desktop to phones to smart speakers.

How does social commerce use AR?

AR (augmented reality) is used in all kinds of ways when it comes to social media marketing. For example, customers can use Snapchat lenses or Instagram filters to virtually try on makeup or hairstyles before purchasing them.

Brands are also becoming more creative with their content by publishing videos that feature an augmented overlay - like how Nike uses its famed Just Do It slogan in all kinds of video ads.

Can companies use live streaming for social commerce?

Yes! More and more brands are using live streaming on their sites, apps, or social media sites to promote products. This is because it gives businesses the opportunity to capitalize on one of the main elements that consumers look for in a brand: authenticity.

Live videos give companies an opportunity to show what they stand for through showing part of their process, working environment, or even just employees having fun together.

Is social commerce worth it?

Social media has become a huge business because it provides business owners with innovative ways to expand their market reach. Though it takes time and effort to build up a social media customer base, the return on this investment can be huge.

Many brands have seen great success by integrating social commerce into their market strategies because it allows them to easily expand their reach and find new customers within an already active platform.

Conclusion

The benefits of social commerce are already being explored by businesses and consumers alike, with many successful campaigns showing a higher conversion rate than traditional marketing efforts.

However, there is still room for growth within the industry since most companies have not yet implemented this technology into their business models. With its numerous benefits for both customers and businesses, social commerce is sure to continue expanding.