Shopping has always been social in nature. Just look at shopping malls all over the planet, and you’re bound to find at least two people talking about a specific product’s good or bad points. eCommerce has influenced social commerce, it’s changed the way we interact – while shopping on the internet may be solitary, exploring before the buy and chatting about it is still a social encounter albeit digitally.
While the decision-making procedure of the purchaser hasn’t changed much, smartphones and social media have shifted the use of sellers considerably. It has made it a lot easier to sell to potential customers directly on social media platforms.
What’s Social Commerce?
Rather than focusing on driving visitors to the brand’s website, Social Commerce targets shoppers directly on sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter even TikTok. Social Commerce also takes a lot of the guesswork out of targeting the correct audiences due to the information that is freely shared on social media platforms, this information is then used to target potential shoppers.
Social Commerce has changed the way we collect credible information regarding products and businesses. It is all about credibility and reputation. Shoppers want stories and testimonials from real people about their own experiences, celebrities, influencers and brand ambassadors also play a big role in this regard.
Among the substantial benefits of social commerce over conventional eCommerce is the time-saving effect. It supplies customers with comparative data in a fraction of the time necessary to make a decision on whether a product is worth buying or not.
Studies indicate that consumers still rely on social media websites for product testimonials and recommendations rather than buying directly from the brand’s website.
Is social commerce changing eCommerce?
Although retailers have made it much easier for shoppers to purchase straight from their social media pages, they aren’t benefiting from the advantages. Social websites have embraced new purchasing features and retailers have additional “buy” buttons and “shoppable posts” Advertisers haven’t seen massive growth in earnings, going against the trend of technological invention pushing towards social shopping. Consumers still want to perform their due diligence and still predominantly purchase directly from the brand’s website.
Is Social Commerce on the Upswing?
Short answer, yes, but it’s a bit more tricky than a straightforward yes.
Social commerce does create a relatively shorter path to making a purchase but it struggles to overcome the psychological effect of purchasing on the brand’s website. Ultimately we rely on our senses, as far as possible we want to touch, taste, see and smell. In situations where we can only rely on sight, we will seek advice from social media users and in most cases go to the brand’s website.