It’s hard to believe that less than a decade ago “twitter” was just a word used to describe the sound from a bird. “Thefacebook” was a website project created by a Harvard sophomore. We all know what happened next. Twitter, now with more than 200 million global users and Facebook, a social media giant with more than 800 million global addicts… er… users are at the heart of the social commerce boom.
What exactly is social commerce? Social commerce is the fusion of two of the decade’s biggest digital trends – “social media” and “e-commerce”. According to Moontoast, a Boston-based distributor of social commerce solutions, today’s brands have a lot to gain with this new way of purchasing and selling products and services. In its e-book, “The Social Commerce Opportunity: How Brands Can Take Advantage of the Next Evolution Commerce”, brands who supplement their social media strategy with social commerce will not only “increase revenue, but also increase community growth”.
If you’re a business, off the bat you should ensure you have an online presence. Furthermore, if you’re looking to rapidly increase brand recognition, best believe that social media must be a component of your marketing arsenal. Moontoast’s e-book touts some very compelling stats by Nielsen and Gartner illustrating how much time Americans spend on the Web and how much companies are expected to generate in revenue from the Web via social presence and mobile applications, respectively.
“The Social Commerce Opportunity” e-book outlines the following opportunities unique to social:
- Brands can reach engaged audiences than ever before.
- Brands can present offers better than ever before through a digital “word of mouth” phenomenon presented by social.
- Social drives adoption through confidence via repetition, user experience and trusted payment methods.
Building on this, it’s also important to note that today’s savvy, digital consumers also use the Web as a resource for savings. In its Times & Trends Special Report, “The Downturn Shopper: Buckled in for a Wild and Crazy Ride”, market research firm, SymphonyIRI, reported that the Web is rapidly becoming an integral component of what it calls the downturn shopper’s money saving strategies, pointing to a steady rise in shoppers using the Internet to research products and gather coupons.
The lesson here is this: social media is here and it’s here to stay. People are spending lots of time on Web and even more on social media. Many are already relying on social media to learn about products and deals, and it won’t be long before social media becomes the driving force for a majority of online purchases. The folks at Moontoast say it best, “Social Commerce will not only help brands monetize social media efforts, but it will fit in seamlessly with social media strategies and offer new ways to reward people through exciting offers and a better user experience.” Get with it. Get social.