E-Tail & Social Commerce

As Marshall McLuhan said: ‘It’s the framework which changes with new technology and not just the picture within the frame.’
The new customer isn’t different from the old (off-line) customer, but has been shaped by the social media. The following presentation gives a short introduction on how consumer behaviour has changed by social media.

Social commerce is a subset of e-commerce that uses social media to assist in the online buying and selling of products and services. Recent numbers show the growth of online retail, and gives us insight on the online shopping behaviour. Most people still use the web for comparison goals and information on brand and product.  But the social media, and most certainly the ‘group’ -applications, create an online society of social buyers, so-called social commerce.

Although social commerce was already introduced in 2005 (by Yahoo), today the area of social commerce has been expanded to include the range of social media tools and content used in the context of e-commerce. Examples of social commerce include customer ratings and reviews, user recommendations and referrals, social shopping tools (sharing the act of shopping online), forums and communities, social media optimization, social applications and social advertising (as seen in the following presentation)

How does Facebook fit the E-tail market? The following list shows 5 easy ways to use Facebook as an online E-tail platform.

  1. Pop Up shop & insider shopping events
    Through Facebook you could access a pop-up shop or an insider event which was limited in time. This creates a buzz, attracts people and will increase turnover. “Having limited edition, time sensitive sales helps retailers drive sales without having to discount” (Peter Goldie, the vice president of marketing at Fluid Agency)
  2. Private, Fan only sales
    Create private shopping communities where you can connect with a specific customer group, f.i. students, ladies, …. This private, exclusive group makes it possible to connect very easy with the targeted customer.  If you are reaching for a digital native audience why don’t you use Facebook, they spent most of their time on social networks, so sell on social networks!
  3. Wish list features
    Luxury retailers can use Facebook to connect with a different audience, selling them an adjusted (special) collection
  4. Facebook e-commerce Apps
    Independent App developers (Payvment) created Apps which are fully integrated storefronts for Facebook which accept payments (via credit cards and PayPal). If you’re on a tight budget, this easy App sets up your shop on Facebook.
  5. Full e-commerce integration
    The concept of a Facebook store is to combine direct marketing and online shopping into a fully tailored, streamlined retail experience. Some UK fashion stores are working with a full online product catalog using Facebook as a platform. They integrate the social features ‘like’, ‘share’ and even ‘tweet’ which integrates the worLd of mouth into online shopping.

Sources:

Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_commerce
Social Commerce – http://socialcommercetoday.com/
Gerd Leonhart – http://www.mediafuturist.com/ & http://www.slideshare.net/gleonhard/dealing-with-consumer-behavior-shaped-by-social-media-media-innovation-forum-2011-dubai
Mashable – www.mashable.com

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