Social e-commerce is a new, expanding strategy for e-commerce sites. However, it is important to be able to differentiate the two kinds of social e-commerce: One occurs on the e-commerce site itself, usually on a platform managed by the company. Whereas the other, offsite social e-commerce, occurs on social media sites and blogs, often outside of the control of the e-commerce company concerned.
Building Brands Through Social E-commerce
Social e-commerce is a new, expanding strategy for e-commerce
sites. However, it is important to be able to differentiate the two
kinds of social e-commerce: One occurs on the e-commerce site
itself, usually on a platform managed by the company. Whereas
the other, offsite social e-commerce, occurs on social media sites
and blogs, often outside of the control of the e-commerce
Either place has its own ways of engagement, but their
advantages are quite similar:
Community – The ability to correctly gauge your target
audience’s social mood and expectations of your product due
to them being in one collective group.
Social proof – The evidence to show that people like your
product through their own social channels.
Authority and engagement – Which indicates if your product
resonates and engages your target audience in both quality
and customer satisfaction.
Firms Making Business Through It
Facebook, for example, is enabling businesses to “chat” with
consumers through its Messenger platform. The idea is that users
can chat with organizations to get information, answer questions
and transact through Messenger.
For example, imagine a scenario in which two friends are chatting
on Messenger about meeting up for dinner at a favorite
restaurant. Without leaving Messenger, they reach out to the
restaurant’s bot to use chat to book the table. If the settings
allow, the restaurant’s bot could even reach out directly to the
users, having spotted the restaurant mentioned in a
conversation, and confirm their reservation.
Shopping functionalities in the social realm (i.e. Facebook’s and
Twitter’s “buy” buttons and Curalate’s Like2Buy platform for
Instagram) tell us that social is going to get a whole lot more
shoppable in 2017. Retailers that have already started
participating in the trend include Nordstrom and Target, which
are using the Like2Buy platform on Instagram, and Home Depot,
(RED), and Burberry, which are testing Twitter’s buy button.
Another example would be of brands are coming up with-Buy one
and donate one. A campaign was run by TOMS Shoes Inc.
wherein you can buy a pair of shoe and donate one pair to needy
ones. It was called as Buy One, Give one. It not only spread the
brand’s name but also shared its social mission with customers.
India Not Far Behind
Following the trend, Indian fashion discovery platforms Wooplr
and Roposo have added commerce in addition to
branding/advertising as a source of revenue. With the expansion
of in-app shopping, social e-commerce is bound to leapfrog in
In 2016, it is estimated that sales worth around $50 billion were
generated using social networks, an increase of $20 billion from
the previous year. No wonder leading social networks like
Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest have introduced ‘shop now’
Wooplr even claims to have positive unit economics on every
transaction and charges upward of 20% as commission from
brands. It does fashion campaigns with brands. “We worked with
brands like Zara and Levi’s to launch their new collection and also
did a campaign with Forever21 and helped them create the 2016
calendar with 12 influencers,” says Wooplr’s CEO Arjun Zacharia.
On the revenue front, Roposo has tie-ups with marketplaces and
works as an affiliate marketer to e-commerce players like Jabong.
Recently, it also started monetizing through its ‘chat and buy’
“Brands are approaching us for influencer marketing. To leverage
this we recently launched Bizdrum to connect brands with
influencers for their social reach.This will work as another
revenue stream for us,” says Mayank Bhangadia, co-founder and
Some Great Benefits Of Social E-commerce
One can use it as a metric for measuring the effectiveness of
your e-commerce marketing. You can measure the return on
investment for your partners or backers through the effects
your efforts make on social e-commerce through social
More often than not, it will drive sales by a considerable
degree, allowing you to accurately predict growth and future
With most reviews now found through social media sites,
listening to reviews and comments on your brand on social
media allows for a much more responsive brand
engagement process, while providing a future opportunity to
build customer relations.
Strong social e-commerce-driven business can drastically
widen its reach through social media channels, especially if
the strategy incorporates organic and viral growth.
“Perhaps the key aspect of conversational commerce, however, is
that it allows users to converse in their platform of choice, and
therefore takes channel transparency to the next level,” says
Stephanie Baghdassarian, research director at Gartner.
Things To Be Taken Care Of
As with any channel to market, conversational commerce
solutions will need to fit with the other physical and digital
channels already in place.
It’s also important to remember that customers see
messaging platforms as a peer-to-peer communication tool,
so care should be taken that customers don’t see this new
channel of communication as an intrusion on their personal
Social e-commerce allows for organic marketing and a stronger
brand presence in brand engagements. Ultimately, natural-
language interactions will become the norm in terms of how
people expect to interact with technology. Forecasts predict that
2017 is the year for social e-commerce and it’s only going to get
bigger from here.