Social ecommerce* (or social commerce) refers to buying goods directly via a social platform. It has been a brewing trend for many years, and always seems to be the next big thing.
The Pinterest ‘buy’ button
Earlier this year, Pinterest removed affiliate/click-to-buy links from its website. This meant that bloggers or users who advertised items on Pinterest could no longer make a small fee via the click through.
It was thought the move was to precede the addition of a buy button, where Pinterest users could directly buy the item as part of Pinterest, staying on the site rather that linking to an external site.
Social commerce on mobile apps
My granddad taught me to always scope out the possibility for a bargain, so I’m perhaps less inclined than others to go for the ease of a buy button. I may scout out Google shopping and other online shops before making a purchase.
However, I think on a mobile ecommerce site, nice and tidy in its small little mobile screen, I may be less inclined to go sniffing elsewhere, as it's all a bit more of an effort on mobile than desktop or tablet. If I felt the price was fair, the ease of a buy button on a mobile site would be more attractive to me.
The future of buying on social media
Facebook already has the option to buy while staying on the Facebook site and they call it f-commerce or f-comm. It isn’t massively popular, but Facebook have been plugging away at their f-commerce for years (as well as a ‘donate’ button for charities), and it’s likely to become more popular.
Twitter have already trialled their buy button and it’s been popping up for ticket ads, among others. But on the whole, it seems to be that we’re waiting to see how it progresses.
* Social ecommerce/commerce is a phrase also attributed to the social aspects of buying online, for example, engaging with the customer, customers interacting with each other, articles, reviews and feedback.
There is also another phrase called, along the lines of, ‘onsite social commerce’ which is features within a website that promotes sharing and interactivity between customers on a site.