The original theory behind online shopping and social e-commerce was that consumers would be able to share their shopping journeys online and almost mirror the kind of interactions they would usually have in physical, brick-and-mortar stores, Econsultancy reports. This reality, however, has not come to pass, with social shopping failing to gain the traction professionals predicted.
Nevertheless, social shopping is showing signs of making a comeback. Forecasts show that the e-commerce market is due to hit $1.5 trillion this year, with social networks due to be a huge driving force behind generating this amount. Such sites will help brands and businesses push consumers from simply engaging with them, to making actual commitments and finalising sales.
Facebook is jumping on this bandwagon by looking into including a ‘Buy’ button on status updates and pages for a select few brands. This will mean that instead of having to redirect customers to standalone websites in order to complete a purchase, Facebook will allow them to make a purchase without leaving the site. Card details will be securely stored on Facebook’s servers, meaning users won’t have to continually re-enter their personal financial details – which is a frustration for many.
Twitter has also recently looked into advancing its e-commerce offerings and has acquired CardSpring – allowing users to make spontaneous purchases from their Twitter news feed. Any content published by brands in the hopes of receiving multiple likes or retweets will now become a purchasing opportunity.
Twitter has also launched a new initiative in conjunction with Amazon, whereby the hashtag #AmazonBasket, or #AmazonCart in the US, will allow Twitter users to add items to their Amazon trollies with a tweet. They will then be able to log into their Amazon account, find their item added to their basket and complete their purchase from there.
The sheer number of social media users across the world is a huge retail opportunity, the article notes, and should be engaged with by brands and companies as much as possible.