Social commerce is a combination of two terms: social media and e-commerce. It is basically how businesses are taking advantage of social media to do business. There is no doubt that the last few years have seen businesses trying to stick with social media, with the year 2010 being the most substantial in this direction.
The current development is a clear going from what used to be a negative effect of businesses about social media. Before 2010, most businesses saw social media as time wasting and so employees are not allowed from using such sites as Facebook and Twitter during working hours. In some places these sites were banned and access blocked on company systems. This has changed a lot and the companies themselves are creating pages on Facebook and Twitter.
Looking at what happened in 2010, many people will be wondering about the direction social commerce will take in 2011. There are a lot of speculations about this already, but there is no doubt that by the end of the year social commerce will be taken to a new level. Here are some trends to look out for.
There is no doubt that Facebook will take assume a very important position in 2011 so far as doing business is concerned. Just as it is now impossible to do any serious business without a website, in 2011, it will become important factor to have a Facebook page immediately you start any business. It is going to be a Facebook revolution just like the dotcom revolution in 2000. Businesses that do not have a Facebook page will suffer from accuracy and trust problems.
The introduction of Facebook credits which will become a common currency, and the building of Facebook stores applications are two ways of making this happen. Businesses will now be selling directly on Facebook in exchange of Facebook credits. This will mean a discount in credit card transactions online.
Integration of social commerce and traditional media
Secondly, there is going to be a full integration of social commerce into the traditional media. The days where social media was regarded as being in conflict with traditional media will come to a definite end. This will not be the end of traditional media, but there is going to be a closer interdependence between the two. Traditional media will continue such as websites and blogs will continue to be the main medium of comprehensive communication, whiles social commerce will assume the role of engaging clients on the individual levels. Already, there are signs of this as most major websites are creating their own social media platforms where users can connect directly to each other to share ideas and opinions.
Businesses will be relying more on social media to drive their sales. Social eCommerce is not only about simply selling goods; it is about the customer who asks questions and seeks opinions from others before buying a service. All Business pages will make more use of the “Like it” button as it shows customer satisfaction. The products and services with the highest “likes” will get high priority. This is because there is the trust that social media is more of real people. Heavily moderated reviews will give way to frank discussions on social media.
Smartphones are now taking over from computers and facebook marketplace will have to start thinking of creating the opportunity for people to buy goods and services from their mobile devices.