Social Commerce

Phoenix, AZ United States
Kudos: 53
Joined: Aug 20, 2014
Social Commerce
20 Aug 2014
Hi everyone!

I'd like to get some more opinions about social commerce (selling through social networks as opposed to selling on traditional e-commerce sites). I work for a social commerce company called ShopTab ( and we give businesses the ability to create stores within their Facebook business pages. We've seen a lot of change social selling recently (i.e. Facebook testing the "Buy Now" button to their advertising platform), and I'm curious about what you think the future of social selling will look like.

Where do you see social commerce heading in the next year?

Do any of you use social commerce platforms or solutions to sell on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc?

Thanks- looking forward to your thoughts.
Marina Del Rey, CA United States
Solid Commerce
Kudos: 250
Joined: Jan 22, 2011
Re: Social Commerce
30 Sep 2014
Hi there, @ShopTab.

I do content marketing at Solid Commerce, which is an eCommerce multi-channel solution provider.

Basically, this means that I'm more an expert on social media than I am on eCommerce - though I work in both fields equally, just about.

Honestly, I don't think we're going to see too terribly much growth when it comes to "social commerce" as you're describing it.

I say this based on taking a look at some of the examples we've already got:

- Remember Twitter's music program? Neither do most people. They briefly launched an in-network music service that didn't take off and was quietly shuttered before anybody knew what to do with it.

- Pinterest has been interested in more directly integrating eCommerce into its platform for a while, but this has totally failed to catch on.

- Twitter has also taken steps to directly integrate a type of "buy it now" function that has failed to catch on.

I think the reasons behind these results are pretty simple: people don't feel like they need to be buying stuff on their social networks. They already have plenty of places to do that. And even if they really DO want to buy stuff when they're on social networks, most of them are so packed with ads that whatever you want to buy (because trust me, if you want to buy it, it'll be there in the sidebar of your social network of choice, endlessly remarketed to you) is just a click or two away -- at most -- anyway.

In a more simple way, I think it just boils down to a case of people not really wanting to get any social networking mixed in with their online shopping and vice-versa.
Phoenix, AZ United States
Kudos: 53
Joined: Aug 20, 2014
Re: Social Commerce
30 Sep 2014
Good insight, @Solid Commerce

I just read an interesting article about this yesterday actually:

The article notes that just 5% of internet users have made purchases via social media. Seems like a low number, but I expect this number to increase as e-commerce overall takes a larger chunk of all retail sales. The reason we built ShopTab for Facebook is because Facebook crushes Twitter, Pinterest and other social sites for social sales, and the numbers continue to increase.

And although the primary purpose of Facebook is to serve as a social platform (people don't come to Facebook to shop), we've seen that purpose start to transform over time, particularly in countries outside of the US where more and more small businesses are using Facebook as a storefront.

Facebook is continuing to experiment with their "Buy" button... I wonder if they'll have any success. You made some good points with Twitter and Pinterest. Social selling just hasn't quite had the traction it needs within networks to become a major market for buyers and sellers. That said, I think the 5% mentioned above will continue to increase.
Ahmedabad, Gujarat India
Kudos: 176
Joined: Jul 2, 2015
Re: Social Commerce
15 Sep 2015
I would like to add some pros and cons on selling through social media:
Firstly Pros:

Cheaper marketing tactic
Some social media sites allow you to list products for free and charges your a nominal amount, only when your receive a sale.

Improve SEO ranking
It takes a lot of time, effort and cost to increase your brand and product ranking in search engines. Selling through social media, there are more chances of getting more click-through rate compared to sponsored ads.

Immediate support
Social media channels allow business owners to respond almost instantly via real-time chat and messages, helping you boom customer service.


No fixed returns on investment

Sales volume generated today, may not be the same tomorrow when selling through social media channels. The rapid change in customer’s demands, make it difficult to quantify the return in investments and the importance of one channel over another.

I hope this post help.
New Jersey United States
Kudos: 171
Joined: Jul 28, 2015
Re: Social Commerce
17 Sep 2015
I totally agree with Solid Commerce. Social commerce is not very convincing. People are not willing to mix up their experience of social media with the eCommerce. Social media is to get entertained and be updated with the family, friends and community. There are already many eCommerce websites available to purchase things. Top of it, some store owner also have their own online store to buy things from. If social media will have eCommerce too then everything on the internet will be eCommerce and people will get fade up by seeings same things over and over again and again. That's why all major social media platform like twitter and Pinterest withdraws the idea of eCommerce integration on their platform. So for me, social commerce is not the future of eCommerce.
eCommerce Consultant
Phoenix, AZ United States
Kudos: 52
Joined: Feb 20, 2019
Re: Social Commerce
27 Apr 2019
@ShopTab Because you can super-target your audience, especially n Facebook, social ecommerce will proliferate as long as the social media platforms can keep "junk or fake" stores from selling garbage.

On Instagram, they are beta testing "IG Checkout" where the buyer doesn't have to leave IG to make a purchase---that's pretty significant and a foreshadowing of social ecommerce growing. The next step for IG is to create an EDI sales channel, which will move the growth even faster.

Hope this is helpful for you.

I wrote this piece about Instagram Checkout:
Now when you see product you love on Instagram, you can buy it without leaving the app—if the retailer has the new Instagram Checkout beta, the new in-app shopping platform.

Instagram Checkout offers a faster checkout where users remain on Instagram instead of being rerouted to the seller’s website to make the purchase. You still have the option of going to the seller’s website. Instagram cut the user experience time in-half with Checkout.

Just a few clicks and the shopper’s purchase is queued to ship. The most time-saving feature is the new secure payment information storage, so shoppers never have to re-enter payment info.

Shoppers will be able to track, manage and return their purchases through the app, as well as contact retailers and brands about their orders directly. Users can now manage their entire purchasing journey within the app.

What are the seller costs?
Instagram has not publicly disclosed seller costs. As explained, they “will charge a ‘small fee’ to businesses selling through the platform to cover things like credit card processing costs and other transaction-related expenses.”

How to participate
Instagram would like those who want to sell on Checkout to know, “access to checkout will be limited during this closed beta. When we expand, businesses will be able to integrate directly or work with several ecommerce platforms and more in the future. Payments will be processed in partnership with PayPal.”

That said, Instagram invites sellers with the welcome,”We are testing checkout in a closed beta, but you can still help us get it ready for a wider release. Tell us more about your business so that we can make checkout on Instagram better for sellers like you.”

Profess your Checkout interest here. The link will take you to a short form to complete. You’ll be asked for the username of your Instagram business profile and work e-mail. Drop-down menus will ask if you are using shopping already and how your product catalog is connected, if third-party fulfills your orders and if you have a US Federal Tax ID. Lastly, you’ll select from a list to identify your ecommerce platform or system integrators. And SUBMIT! Good luck!

Brands chosen to participate in Instagram Checkout beta
Here are the brands selected to participate in the beta, and Instagram revealed earlier that there are “more to come.”

Adidas @adidaswomen & @adidasoriginals
Anastasia Beverly Hills @anastasiabeverlyhills
Balmain @balmain
Burberry @burberry
ColourPop @colourpopcosmetics
Dior @dior
H&M @hm
Huda Beauty @hudabeautyshop
KKW @kkwbeauty
Kylie Cosmetics @kyliecosmetics
MAC Cosmetics @maccosmetics
Michael Kors @michaelkors
NARS @narsissist
Nike @niketraining & @nikewomen
NYX Cosmetics @nyxcosmetics
Oscar de la Renta @oscardelarenta
Ouai Hair @theouai
Outdoor Voices @outdoorvoices
Prada @prada
Revolve @revolve
Uniqlo @uniqlo
Warby Parker @warbyparker
Zara @zara

[Last edited: 29 Apr 2019]
Jackie Eldridge • Freelance Ecommerce Content Marketer • Phoenix, AZ
Birmingham, UK United Kingdom
Kudos: 46
Joined: Apr 23, 2019
Re: Social Commerce
30 Apr 2019
I think social commerce is becoming a much more integrated experience with the buy buttons available through social media platforms, eliminating the need for websites but obviously not something you would skip.

Thompson & Holt