In today’s market, a wide range of options available for selling products and services to customers. Small businesses can engage in commerce through physical stores, websites, social media platforms, or a combination of these channels.
If you are considering taking your business online, you may have come across terms such as “eCommerce” and “social commerce.” These terms refer to similar yet distinct experiences for both you and your customers. Understanding the differences between them will enable you to make an informed decision about the online component of your small business.
What is e-commerce?
When products or services are bought and sold online, it is referred to as e-commerce or electronic commerce. In this type of transaction, customers make their selections based on the photos or descriptions provided by the seller, rather than choosing the products directly.
What is social commerce?
Social commerce is akin to e-commerce, involving the buying and selling of goods on social networking platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Put simply, social commerce entails utilizing social networks for e-commerce transactions.
Difference between e-commerce and social commerce
4 reasons why you should try social commerce
1. Social commerce streamlines the process: See it, click it, buy it. With social media shops, the friction in moving from discovery to purchase is removed, providing a straightforward path to the checkout. The product is there on the platform, eliminating the need to navigate to external websites. Every click matters, and minimizing the steps between discovery and purchase reduces the chances of potential customers changing their minds. Avoiding the transition from an ad to a website, then to a shopping cart, and finally entering credit card information streamlines the process. By bringing the shopping experience directly to social platforms the journey from discovery to purchase becomes more efficient and user-friendly.
2. Social media is where Millennials and Gen Z like to shop: If your target audience falls within the 18-to-34 age range, they are already active online, eagerly awaiting shopping opportunities as they scroll through their digital platforms. In 2019, 48% of U.S. internet users within this age group made purchases through social media. Even among those who haven’t explored social media shopping yet, 27% have shown interest in giving it a try. Consider this the contemporary marketplace — it’s time to establish your presence and start selling!
3. Target specific audiences for effective selling: Leverage abundant customer data on social platforms for precise advertising. Social commerce allows you to present tailored, ready-to-buy products to individuals who would appreciate them, surpassing the capabilities of traditional e-Commerce and marketing.
4. Opportunities for substantial earnings are available: Numbers, much like Shakira’s hips, tell the truth. Projections indicate that e-sales will exceed $735 billion in next three years. For this it’s wise to showcase your products in the online spaces where your customers are already engaged. Research reveals that 81% of shoppers explore products on Instagram and Facebook, while shopping is a focus for 48% of Pinterest users. Cater to their needs and desires — give them what they’re searching for!
So, yes, social commerce is better than e-commerce.
Social commerce outshines traditional e-commerce by seamlessly integrating shopping into social platforms where users engage. Direct and interactive nature of social commerce eliminates friction in the consumer journey and taps into the vast potential of targeted advertising and personalized product recommendations. It leverages the social aspect of online interactions, creating a dynamic and engaging shopping experience that transcends the limitations of conventional e-commerce models.
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