The shopping that we experienced in the days of yore is no longer similar. The growth of the internet practically overshadowed the traditional brick-and-mortar shops and gave way to the E-Commerce. However, that was two decades or so ago. The consumer landscape has now changed considerably, and the world is gradually moving to what is called Social Commerce. So, what is Social commerce, and how has the E-Commerce evolved into social commerce? Let us try finding out.
The emergence of E-Commerce
The concept of E-Commerce came about in the 1990s. It was because of the accessibility of the internet to the public. It all began with people buying CDs and books online on the digital marketplace. The industry soon grew into a multi-billion conglomerate in just around a couple of decades.
The carts, the secure payment options and product catalogues formed a great asset in E-Commerce that was in sharp contrast to the traditional brick-and-mortar stores. This opened up new possibilities for the consumers and businesses alike.
The advent of smartphones further changed the scenario, bringing a new shift in the E-Commerce by evolving into M-Commerce or mobile commerce. The mobile apps introduced a streamlined interface, a personalised experience and, of course, seamless payment options.
What is Social Commerce?
The concept of social commerce evolved with the growth of social networking sites and their widespread adoption by every genre of the social diaspora. The social commerce refers to buying and selling products on the social media platforms without even leaving the site. A few good examples here include Facebook Marketplace or Instagram Native checkout.
The social commerce involves using the social media services to research for the products and buying or selling them. It is an amalgamation of social media marketing and E-Commerce. This has been the new norm these days, which helps in buying, selling and promoting the products between the customers.
What makes Social shopping better than E-Commerce for online shopping?
The best way to answer this question would be to find how the social commerce combines the power of both social media and E-Commerce to create a unique shopping experience in digital marketplace. The interactions within the interface are more at the personal level, making them the best choice for a genuine shopping.
The social commerce lets the consumers engage with the brands and leave reviews. They also share their shopping experiences. The seamless integration of shopping inside a social media environment has been helpful in a creative and engaging shopping journey.
The social commerce involves the user-generated content. That should be one of the strongest components of social commerce. Everyone among us will agree to the fact that a user-generated content is more trustworthy than an ad created by a brand. The engagement created by the content helps you make a wiser shopping decision. Peer-to-peer recommendations hold more water than the recommendations from the influencers, celebrities or the brand itself.
Why is Social commerce evolving so much?
Social commerce provides you with the ease of socialising and shopping from a single platform. It provides you with a one-stop solution for marketing, product research, shopping and sharing customer engagement – all in one place.
There are numbers that prove this fact.
- Shopify recently published a study that stated that more than 500,000 orders originated from social media.
- Instagram, among all other social media platforms with the highest average order value
- Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube have been the three most popular social media platforms that have gained a traction as the most powerful social commerce performance.
The pandemic that shook the world for two years has been yet another key reason for the growth of social commerce. It is estimated that social commerce experienced a growth to the tune of 38% during the period.
The Future of Social Commerce
The concept of social commerce is set to grow exponentially. There are multiple trends that are shaping up the growth of social commerce as a great online shopping. The concepts like Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) can further fuel the growth of social commerce.
With the cloud-based E-Commerce tools and the growing use of smartphones can make social media more than just social media. It is no longer a platform for peer-to-peer generated content but has become much more than that.
The social commerce is definitely here to stay and will evolve further – what with the way it is making use of the technology. We would definitely foresee a great future for the social commerce going forward.
The Closing thoughts
Well, that should have given you a brief idea of how E-Commerce has evolved into social commerce. Not that E-Commerce is no longer valid, but social commerce has been the innovative low-cost medium for the businesses to help increase their sales and customer engagement. Of course, it does have a few risks, such as True fraud and Interception fraud, but the right intervention by the corporates can help mitigate the risks and safeguard the shoppers.