Social commerce is a sub-category of e-commerce and how it functions depends on the platform. A few years ago, social commerce was described as being in its infancy by experts in the industry and a lot of those issues still remain unsolved. But is a lot closer to be a useful tool due consumers habits are changing. Check out the list below for the different categories social commerce falls into.
Different Types of Social Commerce
P2P sales platforms are community-based marketplaces where individuals to one another. Examples of a P2P sales platform includes websites such as eBay, Amazon Marketplace, and Etsy.
Social Network-Driven Sales
Social network-driven sales are self-explanatory. It is where sales occur within the designated social network. Today Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest all enable users to make purchases directly through their mobile app. Up until last month, Twitter also had this functionality. Shopify decided to discontinue allowing merchants to have a “Buy Now” button because it did not prove to be a profitable feature for Twitter.
The screen grabs below are from Warby Parker’s Instagram profile. Their profile is a great example of a company who is integrating social commerce into their business model. Learn more about Instagram’s shopping feature here. This week, Instagram also released a new functionality where users can post multiple photos at once. It will be exciting to see how brands use this feature to their advantage.
Group buying is the practice of products and services being sold at a lower rate based on the number of buyers willing to purchase. A great example of this is Groupon!
Peer-recommendation sales occur through a site that collects product reviews and consumer’s purchasing history. Primary examples of this type of social commerce include Amazon and Yelp. Amazon especially likes to use the “if this then that” marketing tactic.
A great example of participatory commerce is Nike’s NIKEiD campaign so customers can design their own shoes and accessories. This level of immersion and creativity is becoming extremely important to marketing in general. Quite simply, people love to put their personal stamp on things.
Social Commerce is Still Developing
Now that you have a better understand of what social commerce is, it’s important to understand that it is still in its early stages. There are a lot of kinks to work out and we’ll talk about that in our next blog. We’ll get into why social commerce hasn’t completely taken off yet, where the issues lie, and what to expect in the future so stay tuned!