Social media started out mainly as a platform for interaction; a means to communicate and connect with people who were not physically present but whose warmth we wanted to feel. It also was the avenue to meet new people from various walks of life and share experiences. Basically, it set out to help us feel more human. It was a world entirely free of business dealings and negotiations, and one which buying and selling of products and services were alien to. The e-commerce ecosystem was available for that.
Now, the story is completely different. Social media channels have now become commercial outlets for adverts, purchases, sales, etc. This change has produced the question of whether these social channels can compete with online powerhouses like Amazon, especially after the many, daily Amazon deals that social media is flooded with these days. Social commerce is a subset of e-commerce that involves using social media channels to assist online buying and selling of products and services.
CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING FACTS ABOUT SOCIAL COMMERCE:
Deciding what to buy and who to buy from
87% of customers say that social media helps them decide what to buy; 25% seek advice on social networks when choosing apparel; 90% of followers try to reach out to brands via social media.
Revenue made from adverts in 2017
Social network advertising revenue was $41 billion; Facebook’s ad revenue was $10.14 billion, and Instagram made $4 billion from mobile ad revenue.
Value of the average order on social networks
Instagram ($65); Facebook ($55); Pinterest ($50); Twitter ($46.29); LinkedIn ($44.2); Google+ ($40); YouTube ($37.63)
Top selling products on social media
Smartwatches, video doorbells, face masks, highlighters, phone cases, avocado oil, Bluetooth speakers, enamel pins, coconut oil, and virtual reality products.
Social media has taken over! Now, all kinds of brands and e-retailers have bought into the social media craze and are exploiting it to the fullest. You get the feeling that with time, judging from the increasing integration of social media into everyday life, social commerce may end up stealing the show entirely and absorbing everything into e-commerce.
See the chart below for a more in-depth view of social gateways and commerce timelines.
Graphic credit: 16best.net