Social Commerce

What is Social Commerce?
In todays world social commerce is an online store on Facebook, as this is the largest social network with the most global brand and global user base.

Who is experimenting in Social Commerce?
We are seeing a number of  different consumer companies experiment with social as a new channel to both engage with customers on their purchase journey and provide them with a place to buy their product or service through the social channel, be that social networks like Facebook and Twitter or as an app for smartphones and tablets.

Facebook & Twitter
Facebook and Twitter are the primary social networks companies are experimenting with social commerce platforms.  Twitter was the first channel where brands gave consumers the opportunity to buy, not in the social network, but were directed straight to a point of purchase.  In 2008, Dell was one of the first companies to use Twitter in this way, communicating daily deals with a direct link to a page where they can purchase the product.  Dell reported revenues US$6.5m through this channel in the first 2 years.

Facebook provides additional functionality through the ability to create a fully functioning e-commerce application on their site.  ASOS the UK based online fashion retailer, has taken advantage of this an in January 2011, launched  a fully functioning store on Facebook.  Their customer experience combines that of their store, with access to their full range of stock, plus the social aspects of Facebook, where you can share the clothes you are looking at and purchasing with friends.

The travel industry is another area, where we are seeing the ability to book flights with Delta Airlines, hotel rooms with Hilton Hotels and a holiday with HolidayIQ.

jwtintelligence, have published their social commerce research which discusses their observations and findings on social commerce, Facebook, consumers social and interest graphs.