With a population of nearly 1.2 billion people, India makes up for one of the most diversified markets in the world. With a strong retail and consumer base, India is poised to witness certain redefining trends that will effectively shape the future of consumer and retail industry. The key area of focus for brands will be consumer experience and technology will enhance the entire shopping journey for them. Social commerce, or S-commerce, is a next-gen trend expected to reinvent the future of commerce.
Social commerce basically refers to the process of selling products directly on social media platforms. It brings in the functionality of e-commerce on social media channels themselves. Social commerce improves the entire shopping experience – right from product discovery and research to check-out and payment – making it a lot more easy, direct and convenient.
Rise of Social Commerce
The extensive use of videos on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat is leading to massive growth of social commerce, especially among the millennial population. Even regional social networking platforms, such as Roposo, have established a strong foothold in the niche market with their vernacular content which has further boosted the usage of social commerce.
Reports have revealed India to be the leading Asian market for social commerce and is estimated to become a $100 billion-worth vertical for e-commerce by 2025. This monumental success of social commerce in India can be credited to the deep regional connect and the role played by personal referrals.
Why Social Commerce?
Social commerce is the next big thing for brands and they must leverage it to the maximum extent possible. Here are the major reasons that make social commerce worth a shot:
Makes Shopping a Social Experience
Shopping on social media is a much more immersive and interactive experience as compared to a typical e-commerce shopping spree. Consumers can consult friends and family on purchases, display their most recent buy, review the comments of other shoppers on products, and even interact directly with their favourite brands.
Consistent Audience Growth
Every day, millions of new users join social media platforms all across the world, while so many are already active. For instance, Facebook alone has over a billion active users, with several more joining every hour. Hence, brands that use social commerce regularly and effectively see their followers grow continually.
Genuine Engagement and Traffic
The most significant benefit that social commerce offers is the engagement and reach which brands can easily get whenever they share any content. People who are regularly in touch with a brand tend to strongly recommend that brand to others in their circle. Social commerce enables customers to use social media channels to not just connect with a business, but even use them as a customer service channel where their grievances can be addressed.
Customer Loyalty and Retention
With social commerce, brands can engage with prospects, which in turn enables them to build and maintain long-lasting relationships that strengthen trust and loyalty. Customers, hence, feel satisfied with the product or service, and will likely remain clients indulging in repeat purchases.
Business Metrics for Better Insights
With in-built metrics, social media makes it easier to measure and evaluate campaigns. Facebook pages, Twitter tweets and Instagram business accounts have analytics built in for engagements, impressions and reach. In addition, many social media posts can also track the incoming traffic to the brand’s website via website click counts.
Although social commerce is still in the nascent stage of adoption among brands and customers alike, the technology is nevertheless here. This is why now is the perfect time for retailers of all verticals to hop on the bandwagon, experiment with social media-based shopping, and stay ahead of the curve.
( The author is the founder and managing director at BC Web Wise. Views expressed are personal. )