What will the future bring us? Most of the people would think that social commerce is the future. Social commerce is the future, but it’s important to know how we can effectively use social commerce and what the near future of social commerce will look like.
First of all it’s important to look at the reasons why people like to go shopping. Besides the things they want to buy, people like to hang out with friends. The social aspect of shopping is very important. Looking at digital retailing, it’s good to consider how we could add the social presence to digital retailing.
First of all it’s important to integrate navigation support in to the social commerce platform. Navigation support could be divided in shared navigation and separate navigation, thereby it’s also important to still be able to communicate with each other. As communication support there are two possibilities; ‘Voice Chat‘ and ‘Text Chat’. Studies showed that Shared navigation support in combination with voice chat ensures the highest impact on social presence. The explanation is that Shared Navigation Support will give both the co-shoppers the same screen, which helps to avoid misunderstanding during shopping. Voice Chat on the other hand has more media richness than text chat.
Futures as liking, commenting and sharing will give your brand a boost on social media and will affect social commerce on a positive or negative way. It’s important to respond on the right way to especially the negative comments. Social Customer Relationship Management is a must during the integration of social commerce. After all it will create customer lifetime value which will be valuable to companies. Eventually it will also create more loyal customers, when the customer service is better than competitors.
For the future possibilities you should look to the integration of social commerce in to mobile devices and mobile apps such as Instagram and Pinterest. These social media platform have for example a lot of fashion pages. These companies can promote their products through Instagram and Pinterest, whereby customers will be able to directly check-out through the social media app. With an integration of social media, e-commerce and mobile commerce this will lead to ‘Social Mobile Commerce‘. People have their mobile devices almost always with them, which makes it easier and quicker to purchase an item. This is a win-win situation for the customer and the company, whereby the customer needs less time to shop and the company will obtain more sales. Customers on their behave can quickly share their stories and purchase through social media which will affect other potential customers.
The conclusion is that the future of social commerce lies in the extension of social commerce to mobile devices, what lead to ‘Social Mobile Commerce‘. Thereby it’s important to combine mobile social commerce with ‘Social Customer Relationship Management‘.
[Marsden, P. 2010, Social Commerce: Monetizing social media, Syzygy Group, White Paper]
[Rigby, D. 2011, The Future of shopping, Harvard business Review 89(12) 64-75]
[Zhu, L., Benbasat, I., and Jiang, Z., 2010, Let’s shop online together: An empirical investigation of collaborative online shopping support. Information Systems Research 21(4) 872-891]