Is 2017 the Year of Social Commerce?
Social Commerce as a Business - To Be or Not To Be
Imagine, one fine Sunday you are in the middle of your precious afternoon nap after a hearty meal. You are enjoying it to the core, the warmth of your blanket, the perfect temperature of your AC and nobody else to disturb.
What a pleasure!
And all of a sudden, the doorbell goes crazy.
Sound sleep? Too early said.
Irritated you get up and see who’s at the door at this hour of the day and tada!
All you see is a salesman beaming with the product you wish to buy but at this hour of the day! You surely would not want to sacrifice upon buying something.
I know my readers; you are on the verge of losing your patience - HOW THE HELL IS THIS EVEN CONNECTED TO SOCIAL COMMERCE, DAMN IT!
I will show the analogy alright.
So, consider that you are on a social media platform, let’s say, umm Facebook. You are in the middle of scrolling your favorite page, enjoying stalking someone, or probably you are binge-watching.
Here all of a sudden an ad pops-up with the one product you saw on an ecommerce site, you added to cart but didn’t complete the transaction and abandoned the cart.
Would you rather click on the ad or would you rather continue with your binge-watching?
Psychologically speaking, you will be distracted for instants.
This is the reason why most of the social commerce existing today fails - the distraction caused by the modern-day salesman aka ecommerce websites here turns off the users as the focus is more on being social on a social media platform.
From a broad perspective all that I can see is because the social media platform isn’t a place where the user would want to make purchases. All the years the user is prompted to get engaged with the friends on the platform and out of nowhere he is told to make purchase, what a contradiction!
The lack of context here is - someone is trying to insert a shopping experience inorganically into the user’s feed.
And users welcome such unwelcoming feeds the best they can - by ignoring it.
So, if the shopping ads are already out of context, how does adding them to a social commerce fix it?
It doesn’t. Until the mentality of the users can be changed to include immediate purchase intent by its only power in the buying process.
Too much negativity, isn’t it?
The Positive Side of Social Commerce Which Always Went Overlooked
But the social commerce is a broader concept than what is superficially seen out of it. This is where all the budding businesses have the widest scope to delve into the business.
To start with, what’s basically important here is to build a dedicated platform for carrying out the ecommerce business without misleading the audience.
For this purpose, such a social media portal can be built with pre-defined product categories and listings.
Here there can be a separate registration window for both the users and the ecommerce sites.
Now, the feed and the wall can exactly be built like a social networking site with a broad segregation of the topics and categories.
The users can post his requirements by selecting the categories and choosing the desired product from the list.
But did you wonder here what about the oh-so-choosy users who want that specific product with that specific color, with that specific feature, within that specific price range, within that specific timeframe, and with all the specifications of the world?
Well, fret not! There’s always a sneaky door for CUSTOMIZATION.
The idea is if the user goes from fuzzy, fuzzier, to being the fuzziest at the most, he can even manually post his ‘Particular’ requirement so that he/she gets the request and recommendations of the products that exactly match with the specific product.
For the other stakeholders i.e. the marketing managers from the ecommerce platforms can acknowledge the requests, suggest products, and redirect the users to their websites.
Here the user gets the details of their desired product on different ecommerce portals, can compare the prices, and avail personalized benefits and discounts directly.
The biggest benefit for the marketing managers is that they have a specialized platform for getting in touch with the users and can make direct selling.
- Expert in communicating with the customers?
- Can convince well?
- Have good marketing skills?
If every time you nodded you head for these questions, then even the latch of the door is in your hands for cross-selling and upselling.
Well, at this point all I can see you shaping the other social commerce aspects in your mind.
Why Social Commerce Out of So Many Business Ideas?
Those who haven’t thought of it, here see a broader perspective of social commerce and try not, I challenge you, try not to get influenced by the impressive business benefits. ;)
Two giant industries are merged together:
- Social Media
With Social media having an expansive scope and Ecommerce having its own broad scope, collaboratively, you see it will be a comprehensive business.
The business idea is a new concept. It is sure to create an uproar in the marketplace as well as as among the users to try it at least for once.
The revenue model here can involve the featuring of the product by the marketing manager, pages and promotion tools for them, registration charges for the marketing managers, and if the product can be bought from the platform, a service fee can be charged.
So many ways to earn!
There will be two types of stakeholders on board - the marketing managers and the buyers.
With the involvement of friends on the platform, engagement is going to be high, while every ecommerce would want to register itself on the portal since it will enable the direct interaction with the buyers; thereby making the customer acquisition and accommodation of new users easy.
Facebook on its Way to be Social Commerce
With 1.71 B active users every single month, Facebook does not want to get bounded by only connecting the friends and starting a conversation there.
This translates for a massive opportunity for the ecommerce businesses to entice and find new leads from the Facebook.
It wants to be more; it wants to be the channel to connect the users with the businesses, it wants to be the platform where it wants your next impulse to buy from your site.
Note that doing this, Facebook is not trying to be the next Amazon in the market, but instead trying to make the storefront more effective and engage the users by prompting them to make purchase.
Check and Mate Facebook with its Own Game Plan
Studies say that the integration of the Facebook into the web applications can significantly increase the number of visitors and can drive the traffic towards the website.
According to the statistics and researches made, with the use of Facebook referrals, traffic is seen to increase by 300% for the average ecommerce site.
of social media users are less likely to share a brand’s post on mobile than they are on the desktop computers.
Facebook accounts for 50% of total social referrals and 64% of the total social venue.
Adding a like button to an online retail store resulted to 100% revenue from Facebook.
A like button integrated next to every product on their site and found that the visitors from the Facebook referrals spend about 57% of the more money than the visitors who weren’t referred by Facebook.
Do I still need to say more? ;)
Ending the Dilemma
Well, this question can be better answered if we gauge all three sides - Ecommerce, Social Media and Social Ecommerce equally.
Now for the ecommerce and social media, there are already well-established game plans to succeed, but Social Ecommerce is a comparatively new trend in the market which is still not practically speaking, umm sprouted.
But Uber was once a seed, and so was Airbnb.
So, did it just launched and excelled in the year it was incepted itself?
No it took time, right?
To be precise, it took time to grow, it took time to spread its wings, it took time to flourish, and boom! Today it is at the top - unwavering and firm.
Same is true for the Social Commerce as well.
Though a revolutionary and powerful but it still is an idea that needs a thoughtful outlook and good hands for the Social Commerce development.
So, this indeed will take some time to grow, develop, and prosper, but I can assure that your endeavors and the wait is going to be worth it.
Tell us here and we will help you get information in order to make it a complete business idea.