Social Commerce: Buying Online with Friends
We have all seen the instant success of Pinterest. As we know, Pinterest is great for sharing ideas, finding new recipes, decorating a house and so much more. But there is a big reason for why so many brands are interested in this new social site – commerce. Customers pinning a brand’s products to share with followers and linking directly to the brand’s site is pretty much online retail gold.
It has been reported that Etsy is the most pinned site on Pinterest. Etsy sales have increased 71% in just one year, showing almost identical growth to eBay. Etsy’s increase in sales and users is largely attributed to its popularity on Pinterest. This new method of online purchasing is known as social commerce, and you’re going to hear a lot more about it.
Facebook is known for seeing opportunity and jumping on it quickly. And right now, they are gearing up for a huge social commerce push. It is anticipated that you will be able to not only comment or “like” something, but click a button for “want” as well. This button will serve as a virtual wish list for the user and give brands a huge push online. We have seen a little bit of this through sharing, brand ads and sponsored stories, but nothing yet has given the Facebook user a way to hold the items they are interested in until they are ready to purchase.
The next step is leveraging this opportunity in the right way. Brands will have to make a clear line between ads, sponsored stories and this new social commerce – and customize the approach for each method. Done well, social commerce will be a powerful and critical part of a brand’s online strategy.
Photo courtesy of Etsy