Social Commerce, or ‘sCommerce’, is a buzz word that we are hearing more and more of in the current age of the web. eCommerce is big news for businesses as it allows them to reach a global audience, to cut overheads and to drastically increase both turnover and profits as a result.

sCommerce is simply the natural evolution of this eCommerce. It means, in short, using social tools and ‘web 2.0’ to drive more sales and to connect their customers and build communities.

sCommerce is a broad term with many different aspects. To give you a better idea of what it encompasses, read on and we’ll go over some of the main terms.

On-Site sCommerce: This means integrating social into your eCommerce site – by letting people share their purchases for instance or giving them the tools to communicate with other shoppers.

Off-Site sCommerce: This means promoting a product through Facebook or through other external social sites.

Social Network-Driven Sales: This is pretty self-explanatory and essentially means driving sales of your products via social media directly.

Peer-to-Peer Sales Platforms: A peer-to-peer sales platform is something like eBay or Etsy that lets users buy and sell among each other. A site like Amazon combines p2p sales with more conventional formats.

Group Buying: Group buying means getting lots of people to band together to buy an expensive item, or it means getting lots of people to buy something in bulk. So for instance, you might band together with friends to buy a bulk order of iPads at wholesale price and then that way make a saving.

User-Curated Shopping: This means that you can create your own lists of items whether these are favorite purchases or things you want and then share them with others.

Peer Recommendations: Peer recommendations is just a fancy way of saying ‘user reviews’. In an ecommerce setting though, this can be powerful stuff. Using peer recommendations you can basically b build trust in your items and gain some free exposure for your products at the same time.

Participatory Commerce: An example of this is Kickstarter – it’s a type of shopping that actually involves the buyer in the creation of the product. It’s pretty forward thinking and likely to be a big deal in the future.

Social Shopping: Social shopping is shopping that has a chat/forum function built in so you can get advice from friends or just ‘hang out’.

Social Commerce, A Glossary of Terms
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