The leading business houses had already learned the art of using social media in their businesses and they had started practicing this art with great amount of success. As evolution is the rule of nature there came the more sophisticated tool in the form of social ecommerce. Social e-commerce is a subject which is more deep and penetrating than making some transactions in social platforms. Social commerce is not a word which popped up from another world. But it is an extension of the available business and interactive methods. The innovation does not lie with the fundamentals but with the approach of the people in engaging with the social media.In social commerce, the whole processes of buying the products or services, the interaction with the customers in the form of customers talking about the products, recommending people to buy the products and whole lot of activities similar in nature, take place. Social commerce offers multi dimensional possibilities for the business houses to explore. The options of communicating with the customers will be skyrocketed through mediums like phone, SMS, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, chat and so on. Sharing is the dominating principle of social commerce and the companies will have to abide by that. Giving options like Tweet, share and like it will kick start the procedure.
If you want to sell the products or services through social networks you will have to create contents like blog posts, videos and Facebook updates which are really appealing to the customers. The process of sharing will only take place if the content is really striking and appealing. Then the company will get back quality reviews from the customers regarding the pros and cons of the products or services. Social commerce is going to be an inevitable tool for the business promotions with the active participation of the customers. The business houses should realize the real potential of social media as a tool for social commerce. Those who are going to succeed, in a world where cut throat competition is taking place, must have realized the huge potential of social e-commerce.Exposure through all the available means of communication is the need of the hour and a business house having any other concept is going to fall behind in the immediate future. Social commerce presents all the opportunities in its most refined and feasible way, to succeed in this world of competition. It is not going to get stagnated. The evolution is inevitable and social ecommerce is not an exception. It is going to revolutionize the payment system with the term ‘social currency’. You can make a purchase from anywhere in the world without bothering about the unwanted complexities involved with the currency exchanges. One of the greatest assets of social commerce is that it presents a great opportunity for group purchases through these social platforms. But to make the maximum out of the opportunity social commerce methods will have to be introduced in all the social media platforms available. Then only the concept of social currency will become highly effective. The process has already been started and social commerce is on its way to become the most influencing factor in the new world order of economic activities.
Social commerce is an emerging category of e-commerce that integrates all the best practices we’ve accumulated from our experiences with social media and social networks. Introduced by Yahoo! in November 2005, the term initially referred to features in their online store that encouraged interaction and collaboration among users. These features included shared pick lists, user ratings and user-generated reviews, and advice. The explosive growth of social networking sites opened the doors for exploring e-commerce prospects targeting the huge user bases of such sites as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter.A study made by the McKinsey group in 2009 reports that for the social commerce providers — the online shops, e-commerce providers and the brands with online presence — the benefits include increased speed of access to knowledge and reduced communication costs. For buyers, these benefits translate to increased product awareness and customer satisfaction.
The practice of social commerce has since expanded to include tools and applications that support social interaction and user contributions to assist network members as they buy and sell products and services online. These include the following applications, found in many online stores and e-commerce sites.Ask-Your-Network tools provides recommendations and opinions from other shoppers, or those who have knowledge about the product or provider. This activity is sometimes referred to as “friendsourcing.” Examples of this can be seen in the shopping sites of Mattel and Jansport.Deal Feeds let people share information and news with their friends about deals from brands they patronize or like. Dell, Amazon and Carrefour are all big on deal feeds, which drive a big chunk of their day to day e-commerce activities.News Feeds are like Deal Feeds; they’re intended to alert people with news about their favorite brands or stores, or to let them know if a sale is on the horizon. This news is shared and spread using social media news syndication tools (for example, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and RSS). BestBuy, North Face and Nokia’s WOMWorld all use news feeds to spread the word on latest offers.Pick Lists, the tool that started it all on Yahoo, are of tremendous value in social shopping portals. They let shoppers follow other people, and be followed in return by the shoppers they trust. Pick lists are a major part of the Amazon experience. They are also put to good use by BestBuy and Kaboodle.Referral Programs let registered users spread membership by inviting their friends through affiliate networks. Private shopping event portals commonly use this tool. Amazon Affiliates, Gilt and VanRosen are among prominent brands that rely on referral programs to drive membership and increase their user base.
Share-With-Your-Network tools allow shoppers to share their shopping experiences and bargain finds with other members of their social circle. Kaboodle and StyleFeeder use this effectively. Examples of this are on the shopping sites of Charlotte Russe, Mattel and Jansport.Shop Together tools let shoppers browse online stores together, allowing them to influence each other’s buying decisions.Social Network Storefronts are shopping portals hosted by social networks like Facebook and MySpace. Levi’s has a very attractive Facebook store.Whether just a passing fad or a true evolution in retail commerce, social commerce has tapped into opportunities and has set the direction for future developments in retail trade and e-commerce.