Social-Commerce & Social-Shopping

One trend I forgot mentioning in my one of my last article is the topic ‘social commerce’ - http://ux4dotcom.blogspot.de/2014/02/e-commerce-trends-in-2014.html.

Social Commerce or often called Social Shopping - Social shopping features and sites motivate customers to interact and contribute in various ways.
The power of community, the dynamic of interacting and key influencers are and will shifting the way we do commerce in our stores, on air (all call it a mixture of internet and mobile) but also the whole service and customer support topics and the underlying processes and data systems.



The probability of buying a something or using a service that is suggested by a friend is much higher than without such a recommendation. But not only real friends are the one who might influence and lead someone’s decisions. Consumers are nowadays more and more willing to follow recommendations from people with similar interests and consumer behavior even if they are strangers.
According to this aforementioned behavior we are observing growing effects from social sharing tools. Most online stores today involve typical adding features as Facebook, Google+, and Pinterest.
Social commerce spans a huge spectrum of possibility using and integrating these social things and collaborative behavior and decision making aspects.

By the way before I list the general five types of social commerce - I'd like to clear up a question ...
Have you explored the social commerce and shopping options as a customer or for your business? If NOT it’s time to do it.
There are noteworthy chances to distribute your products on sites like Fab, Pinterest, and Wanelo. Vendors should prove these options - using Pinterest and Wanelo by promoting their own brand and awareness.

Fab:







Pinterest:







Wanelo:






I like to group the general Social-Commerce & Social-Shopping aspects into 5 main types:


1st  of 5 - Group shopping 

For example deal-of-the-day website that features discounted gift certificates local or transregional and national – like e.g. LivingSocial, Groupon and Amazon Local. Principally we know this from the offline Costco model in the US and Metro in Europe,  and to the consumers' cooperative supermarkets found in Europe, – adapted to the online world.

LivingSocial:






Groupon:







Amazon Local:






2nd  of 5 - Shopping communities 

Basic idea is to bring kindred spirit and customers together in order giving them a tool to discuss, share, and shop. The intention is to utilize the group behavior and the wisdom of the crowd by allowing customers to create custom shopping lists and share them with others – in case of B2C =  family, friends and contacts or even groups – or in  case of B2B = colleagues, manager, decision makers or clients.



3rd  of 5 - Recommendation and Ratings

The brick-and-mortal correspondence for this type of social commerce is asking a fellow shopper for advice. Recommendation and Ratings of other buyers are ten to fifteen times more meaningful and trustful for the vast majority of customers  than good word and rankings which come from vendors, according to surveys the number varies from context to context but is, as far as I understand it, very high and significant.



4th  of 5 - Social Shopping Marketplaces 

The brick-and-mortal correspondence for this type of social commerce is a farmers market or bazaar. Social Shopping Marketplaces bring vendors and consumers together to connect and transact – like e.g.  Etsy, Polyvore, Storenvy, Buyosphere, and 99designs.
They  encourage interaction  and enable product discovery in a social environment where consumers benefit from the inspiration of others and rely on the guidance of friends to help them make informed shopping decisions.

Etsy:








Polyvore:







Storenvy:








Buyosphere:







99designs:







5th  of 5 - Shared Shopping Experience / Co-Shopping

This feature allows customers to build a temporary collaborative shopping group. It enables two customers to discover a store together. It’s also possible that one person can direct an online shopping experience for more than one person, using chat or other communication methods among each other and with the vendor.


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If you think ‘What's that to me?’ – Look at these numbers:

75% of women say ads and banners do NOT inspire them to buying (*1) -   80 to 90% of buyers say it would be significant to read user-generated content before making a decision about purchasing a product or using a service.
92% of consumers say they trust recommendations from friends and family above all other forms of advertising - According to a study by Nielsen
72% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations - According to a study by Search Engine Land


(*1) Women are the most complex consumers on the earth especially if we talk about fashion. They control roughly 70 to 75 % of the household spending, regarding on the region and country. And they do it all while juggling work, home and family life. - Discover more how women behave: http://ux4dotcom.blogspot.de/2012/11/womens-online-shopping-behavior.html?q=women




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You might also be interested in these articles...

Shaping Future eCommerce:
http://ux4dotcom.blogspot.de/2013/09/shaping-future-ecommerce.html

e-commerce is and will not killing brick-and-mortar - but ...:
http://ux4dotcom.blogspot.de/2014/01/e-commerce-is-and-will-not-killing.html

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