When people think of the term “social commerce,” they tend to think about shopping on social media sites — clicking an ad in their feed, for example, or browsing goods on a peer-to-peer marketplace.
But those supposed “social commerce” experiences aren’t social at all.
After a shopper clicks on a social media ad, for example, they have a solo shopping experience just like on any mobile website. And while peer-to-peer marketplaces may give shoppers the option to message the sellers of goods they’re interested in, that’s no different from shopping on a site that gives them the option to ask questions of a chatbot or email customer service.
True social commerce is distinct from social media marketing. Social commerce is about delivering a digital social experience to shoppers — one that replicates the experience of shopping with others in physical spaces in order to capitalize on the business benefits of this experience: faster sales, organic customer acquisition and more valuable transactions.
Ecommerce cannot be truly social unless it embraces the real-life connections between people and serves individuals’ natural desire to get validation for their purchases from others — and does it in real time. These real-life connections between people can solve some of the most pressing problems retailers face — abandoned carts, costly customer acquisition, elusive customer loyalty — and the path to utilizing those connections doesn’t lie in social media.
Cross-platform problems — delays, frustration and abandoned carts — require on-site solutions
People have an innate desire to validate their purchasing decisions with feedback from others. 66% of Millennials, for example, ask for their friend’s advice when making a purchase decision; 93% have actually bought something based on a recommendation from friends and family.
That’s why, since social media marketing tools fail to give shoppers a social experience, shoppers today create their own social experiences when shopping online. The problem: Those experiences force shoppers to leave the site they’re shopping on — often leading to delays, frustration and abandoned carts.
Online gift-shopping is one example. If three people are going in together on a gift for a fourth person’s birthday, one gifter usually takes the lead — finding an attractive item or two online and sending product links via a messaging platform (such as text or social media messaging apps) to the other two gifters for feedback.
All too often, this process is plagued with issues: Links don’t work, chat responses come back out of sequence, or notifications come in so rapidly that the initial shopper can’t keep track — often abandoning the purchase or deciding to start over later.
It all puts merchants at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to capitalizing on shoppers’ innate desire to get feedback from others prior to completing a purchase.
Owning your experience with a collaborative, on-site social experience
Providing shoppers with a collaborative social experience on-site eliminates the cross-platform friction that often leads to cart abandonment and shopping delays. And it improves on social media marketing efforts by serving customers’ actual social needs when shopping — not by simply providing shopping tools on a social media site.
Social commerce tools like Joyned allow shoppers to invite friends and family for real-time shopping sessions where they can view items together, chat, vote on purchase decisions, allowing digital merchants to benefit from the same instant validation and quick decision-making of physical storefronts.
By providing your customers with the ability to communicate with others in a seamless way, directly on your website, you can drive up marketing performance. People that are invited to a site through Joyned, for example, have a longer lifetime value and spend 40% more than the average website visitor.