Social Media + Online Shopping = Social eCommerce
The world’s fascination with the success of social networking sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn has slowly but surely affected all areas of online business.
Social eCommerce, synonymous with the term “social shopping,” simply refers to the integration of social media into traditional online shopping. For consumers, social eCommerce is the equivalent of shopping from the comfort of your home with the added wisdom and honest opinions of family, friends and experts. For businesses, social shopping opens the gates for creativity, invaluable consumer insights, and building customer loyalty through stronger methods than ever before.
The Benefits of Social Shopping
Social eCommerce aims to enrich online shopping by providing product suggestions from people you personally know. For example, when shopping for a new digital camera, it’s great to see four and five star reviews from previous buyers, but social eCommerce takes recommendations to the next level by informing you that both your co-worker and your neighbor have recently purchased the camera you are considering, and they think it is an excellent buy. All of this information can be accessible to consumers just by being logged into Facebook. This is just one of many examples of social shopping in action. Every day brands are figuring out innovative ways to incorporate social media marketing into the daily shopping experience in order to keep customers engaged.
Just a decade ago, brand managers and product marketers spent the majority of their time focusing on messages they selectively placed on the web for their own products. Those days are long gone. Due to the popularity of ratings, reviews, status updates, check-ins, and likes, consumers now create marketing content faster than most brands could ever imagine generating. This content is seen as fresh, honest, and valuable to online shoppers looking for insight into the products they wish to purchase. Consumers involved in social media (think anyone who has ever updated their Facebook status) are now the largest visible drivers of quality leads, as well as biggest detractors from customer acquisition and loyalty for large and small brands.