Social Commerce

Yahoo! is credited with coining the phrase "social commerce" to describe a set of online collaborative shopping tools. Social commerce has been expanded to include social media tools and content.

Examples of social commerce include customer ratings and reviews, user recommendations and referrals, social sharing tools (sharing the act of shopping online), forums and communities, social media optimization (for publicity), social applications and social advertising.

Definition

  • Social commerce is a subset of electronic commerce that involves social media, online media that supports social interaction, and user contributions to assist 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. (Wikipedia)

Social commerce assists organizations in the following ways:

  • Helps companies engage customers with their brands according to the customers’ social behaviors.
  • Provides an incentive for customers to return to an organization's website.
  • Provides customers with a platform to talk about a brand.
  • Provides all the information customers need to research, compare, and ultimately choose a brand over a competitor. 

Statistics

  • Social commerce sales are forecast to represent five percent of all online retail revenue in 2015 for a total of $15b. (Social Times)
  • 74% of shoppers rely on social media to get more information or reviews about the products they want to buy. (BrainSins)
  • 37% of U.S. mobile users favor m-commerce over in-store shopping. (Internet Retailer)
  • B2B CMOs Expect E-Commerce to Account for ~10% of Sales in the Next Year. (eCommerce & B2B)
  • 80% of companies implementing B2B e-commerce believe that their customer expectations have changed due to B2C practices. (eCommerce & B2B)

Insights

  • Social commerce further propels the "always on" shopping experience.
  • Social discovery will increasingly lead to purchase behavior as people solidify their trusted network and referral sources.
  • Increased usage of mobile devices will positively impact the growth of social commerce.