There’s a new “S” word in the digital marketing realm: social commerce, otherwise known as S-commerce (capitalization appears optional). This is simply the integration of social media into the purchasing process that consumers go through. The rise of social media as a means of communication, information gathering, and information sharing has given cause to businesses and social networks alike to consider joining forces for the cause.
Shopping has always been social by nature, hence the popularity of shopping malls and large shopping plazas. The combination of social media’s popularity and the number of people using smartphones for shopping has streamlined the social nature of shopping and helped businesses find a way to capitalize on this trend: by offering to sell it for them. S-commerce is simply the use of social media platforms to sell products or services. What sets this type of commerce apart from traditional e-commerce is that there is a direct “buy” link (within 1-3 clicks) available on the social media network.
For example, Facebook ads that lead you to a website that sells shoes because you post about your new shoes every weekend probably aren’t going to qualify as s-commerce simply because it has so many potential points of access from the homepage. A sale could be two clicks, or it could be 200. S-commerce happens when the customer can click on a social media post or link and reach a purchase point within a few clicks, making the transaction that much simpler and streamlining online shopping to a whole new level.
There are many explanations for S-Commerce, offering various levels of insight from industry professionals who are working to turn the phrase into the next big thing in internet marketing. Some of these include:
● A subset of e-commerce that uses social media to buy and sell products and services
● The act of consumers with similar interests and needs engaging in conversations that segue into purchases within the social network.
● Broadly, how marketers can leverage social media to influence the shopping behavior of consumers
● Technologies which facilitate interactions with people who enjoy shopping online
● “Social media marketing that touches buyers before, during, and after their purchase.” -Heidi Cohen
Benefits of Social Commerce
Any SEO agency will tell you that there are many benefits that come along with s-commerce, including the opportunity to reach a whole new network of potential customers or clients. Here are just some of the perks that you can enjoy when you utilize social commerce for your business:
● Expansion of the target audience
● Cost-effective brand awareness
● Creation of social media posts
● Allows for peer recommendations
● Provides group buying solutions
● Enhances product awareness and discovery
● Changes product delivery to market methods
● Creates social shopping options on social media networks
● Links brink-and-mortar businesses with social media and their virtual audience
Allowing customers the opportunity to collaborate, exchange information and ideas, and share their own experiences through s-commerce is going to change the world of shopping as we know it. This collaboration has essentially become its creator: grassroots retail marketing, but on a much larger scale and online. It is old school meets new school, and it is taking the social media marketing world by storm.
The Bottom Line
If you already have an SEO agency that handles your social media marketing, they can probably assist you with integrating social commerce for your audience. If you aren’t with an SEO agency, you should find one. They can help you better understand s-commerce, its potential benefits, and why your brand needs it to succeed with digital marketing. Plus, they will provide helpful tips and solutions for the rest of your marketing, including your social media marketing.