Social Commerce: The New Face of Online Shopping

“A brand is no longer what we tell the consumers it is; it is what consumers tell each other it is.” — Scott Cook, co-founder of Intuit Inc.

According to business.com, 55% of shoppers turn to social media while looking for retail information. Facebook, the most popular social media site today, is the leading social commerce platform with its Facebook commerce or F-commerce. The leading provider of social commerce solutions Bazaarvoice says that through prior online research 62% of millennial shoppers already know what they want to buy even before entering a store. 84% of them say content generated by consumers on brands influences their shopping decision.

Really it didn’t take long for the chemistry between online shopping portals and social media to germinate; it was meant to be. Social interaction revolving around purchase and sales of goods online through user-generated content is the new online shopping reality today. This form of collaborative shopping is based on the social behaviors of consumers where online retailers provide a social platform to them for the benefit of social shopping.

Again according to Bazaarvoice, a whopping 73% of millennials believe that their fellow consumers care about their opinions more than anyone else does. That’s the level of attachment and social communion that shoppers share online with their mates. Invesp, a leading provider of e-commerce portal conversion rate optimization software and services, reveals that social commerce sales in the United States in 2014 amounted to an incredible $9 billion, and social commerce sales are forecasted to represent 5% of retail revenue generated online this year.

Time has come now for company CEOs to visit social media and use them for great consumer engagement and brand building exercises. They need to be proactive and keep themselves posted as to what’s unfolding in the social platforms with their customers vis-à-vis their e-commerce business. This is so because social media is now where most of the actions are, and those retailers who ignore the power of this platform is going to fall by the wayside.