ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

A Guide to Social eCommerce

Updated on September 9, 2013

Wanelo Is A Great Social Network for Shopping

50% of web sales to occur via social media by 2015.
50% of web sales to occur via social media by 2015. | Source

What Is Social eCommerce?

We are all guilty of letting our inner shopaholic take over. But with easy access to social media feeds, online shopping apps, and traditional eCommerce stores, it is that much easier to indulge. Just ask yourself: Have you bought something for yourself with the help of social sites like Facebook and Twitter? Have you ever taken the time to experiment with new online stores just to provide ratings on Yelp? If the answer is "no", you may need to catch up on the hottest trend in eCommerce since EBay and Amazon: social eCommerce.

Beyond Amazon and eBay: eCommerce In The Age of Facebook and Twitter

Social eCommerce is the use of social networks for initiating eCommerce transactions and customer retention. Today there are hundreds of shops accessible through Facebook and Twitter that offer thousands of products and services. Everything within those shops is accessible through the social network itself. These sites assist in the buying and selling of products and services made available online. By engaging with customers through social interaction and social sharing, brands can increase exposure and communicate directly with customers and target markets.


"All markets are conversations"

The previous quote was noted in The Cluetrain Manifesto. The manifesto aimed to examine the impact of the Internet on both the consumer market and organizations themselves. That quote can now be updated in the reverse for a new social era to say:

All conversations are markets!”

Does social network activity influence your purchase decisions?

See results

Key Factors For a Social eCommerce Strategy

There are various trends that have matured and contributed to the formation of social eCommerce opportunities. To understand the inherent value of incorporating social media commerce strategy into a business, people must focus on the perspective of a shopper in today’s social, mobile, and Big Data infused world:

  • People need proof that what they are buying online is of good quality, and tend to trust the recommendations of other people/shoppers who have similar interests (likes, follows, retweets, etc.).
  • If there are a lot of 'likes' to a product’s brand page, shoppers will feel more confident in regards to the product’s quality, trustworthiness, and viability.
  • Thus it becomes important for the retailers to include social sharing and other social functionality such as consumer ratings and reviews, user recommendations and referrals, shopping carts, forums and communities on their own eCommerce site.
  • The notable social eCommerce sites are Facebook, Groupon and Pinterest to name a few. Most online stores today embrace adding product “likes” to Facebook, Google+, and Pinterest.

Top Trends in Social eCommerce

  1. Mobile and Social Shoppers
  2. Big Data and Analytics
  3. Remarketing Strategies
  4. Multi-Channel Retail
  5. Unusual Product = Viral Products
  6. HQ Product Video


1) Mobile eCommerce

Mobile eCommerce, or mCommerce, is another way to purchase online items from electronic storefronts. Rather than shop from your desktop mCommerce allows shoppers to browse and purchase through any mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet. Mobile applications built specifically for these devices are transforming the everyday shopping experience and altering the behavior of consumers in a drastic way.

  • According to Think Mobile with Google, 79% of users rely on smartphones to help with shopping and more than half of smartphone searchers make a purchase through the device.
  • Around 70% of users use smartphones while shopping in-store. It has been found that customers browse in this fashion for a wide variety of offerings ranging from dining, travel, entertainment, and even automotive.
  • This steady shift in consumer behavior has forced device vendors to target younger consumers. Younger consumers are using their mobile devices more often than any other age group (such younger consumers also have substantial purchasing power).
  • Online vendors are collaborating more and more with the telecommunications industry to promote advancement in mCommerce to make mobile shopping more seamless.
  • Brands offering mCommerce sites are adapting their existing websites for easier viewing and interaction when accessed by mobile devices. It has been proven that sites which are mobile optimized, or that have a streamlined mobile application, are attracting more sales while increasing retention.
  • Businesses are now implementing integrated mobile ads with their marketing strategies using new technologies and services. Many technological innovations such as remote payments, electronic wallets, and proximity payments are being used to attract consumers who are regularly using their mobile devices to find and act on information.


2) Big Data Insights

Big Data refers to a massive volume of structured or unstructured data whose power can be leveraged by big and small businesses alike for operational insight. Such massive growth in data stemming from social networks and user generated content (UGC) has led to a pool of resources and perspective for social eCommerce merchants:

  • Such huge amounts of data about consumers from different geographical and demographic backgrounds can be used, stored, shared, analyzed and put to use in different ways.
  • New software applications built to harness such troves of data will be commoditized for use by businesses of all sizes and revenues.
  • A personalized shopping experience with great customer service can be introduced or optimized by managing and applying pervasive data regarding interaction history, transaction history, and customer sentiment.
  • Dynamic pricing can be introduced as people tend to actively compare prices while shopping. Many customers are also researching while shopping in-store.

More examples of effective uses of Big Data can be found here.


3) Remarketing Strategies

"Social tactics can bridge the gap between intuitive retargeting that can sometimes feel unsettling, in favor of socially framed product suggestions with a recognizable face." - Social Media Today

  • This is a new technique wherein once you have viewed a particular product on a site or clicked on an advertisement, similar kinds of advertisements which are reflective of your interests appear on other sites which you visit later!
  • Though users might find it creepy and annoying to be followed around like this, ultimately they might get swayed to purchase the product they once viewed or be tempted to re-visit the site which they left without making any purchases.

4) Multi-Channel Retail

  • Multi-channel retailing is a new concept wherein retail stores, online stores, mobile stores, mobile app stores and other channels through which a transaction can be carried out is merged, so that that the customers have the luxury of dictating the route they want to take.
  • This trend is called 'showrooming' where the consumer is physically in-store yet goes online, searches for products, compares and contrasts prices, checks product reviews and then buys the product all online.

5) Product Videos

Until this point photographs used to tell a part of the story for any eCommerce site. But in 2013, this is soon going to change as videos will now play a major role in any eCommerce portals across the board. If someone were to put up a well done product video delineating the qualities of that product, it will have a great impact on product page conversion rates! With HD video and high quality production, videos can boost sales.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)