Elements of Social Commerce

Social Commerce

The buying and selling of products and services through social media platforms is called social commerce. It is also part of e-commerce. Different social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram act as storefronts to sell products and services. Shoppers can discover and purchase the products from their choice of social media platform. With the rise of social media, it is booming. Shoppers are using social commerce to discover the brand, research the product, interact with customer support, and purchase the product. 

The involvement of customers in different social media platforms lead businesses to engage more on social media platforms for doing business. Businesses use various creative promotions in social media to attract customers. The entire purchasing process is conducted via social media. The success of such commerce can be determined through retweets, likes, and shares that the marketing campaign gets. This takes a few clicks and customers are more engaged in these activities. 

Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and TikTok have inbuilt social commerce features. It is the biggest asset for the business to know about the customers. Customers can easily identify the products and with a few clicks, they can enquiry or know about the products. Average people spend around 2 hours and 45 minutes on social media daily. Each social media has its community, by using social commerce, brands extend their customer reach and increase their sales. 

Social Commerce vs Online Shopping

The main difference between social commerce and online shopping is the platform they use. For online shopping, brands mostly built websites and apps. Consumers can use internet-based devices like desktops and PCs to identify and purchase the products. Whereas, in social commerce, consumers can purchase the product without leaving social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. For social commerce, there is no need for the brand to create websites and apps.

Businesses that are based on online shopping have sole control over the content that they use on their websites. But for social commerce, businesses need to follow the rules and regulations of social media platforms for content creation.

There is also a difference in the interactivity. Social commerce provides more interaction with customers. In social commerce product discovery relies on social interaction, collaboration with influencers, and use of viral trends. But for online shopping, product discovery depends upon search engines and traditional advertising strategies. In social commerce, customers can enjoy an easy customer journey. Customers can enter their payment information in the social media of their use and complete it without being redirected to external websites.

The success of social commerce depends more on customer response, word of mouth and active social media presence whereas online shopping is more about marketing investments, SEO optimization, advertisements etc.

5 C Elements of Social Commerce

Social commerce is a powerful tool that businesses can use to boost their sales and increase their customer base. There is an evolution in consumer behavior which has led to the merging of shopping and social media. To do so, it’s important to know about its 5cs


Content is God. Creative and high-quality content is the root of success for such commerce. Content should be a visually pleasing and informative description of the product. Good visual experience of the product or services is the first thing to get customer interest in your product or services. We are loaded with too much information. Good content stands out in a business environment. The use of storytelling to communicate the brand message can create an emotional connection with the customers.


Context means knowing the customers i.e. understanding the need and want of the customers. By understating the customer, a brand can make a tailored strategy to target the audience. It is important to know the behavior of the customer and their use of social media. To have a better context, a brand can analyze the competitor’s strategies and conduct market research.


Community refers to the group of individuals with similar interests on the same platform. In social commerce context, a facebook community or instagram broadcast channel etc. reflects community. By creating a community, brands can create a feeling of belonging in customers. Similarly, the community helps businesses update and inform their customers about their products, service or any promotional efforts. This will increase the customer loyalty and repurchase of the product. To do so, a brand can reply to customer comments, questions, and messages promptly. Brands can also create groups for the customers to share their experiences. 


The success of social commerce depends upon the connection with the customers. Personalized experience can create long-term relationships with customers. For better connection, the brand should focus on providing real-time support and assistance to customers. Social influencers can be used for personalized recommendations and promotions. Also, community helps build the connection between business and customers. 


Commerce is important in any transaction related activities. It is best to include e-commerce features in social commerce as well. It will allow the customers to make purchases directly from their feeds. Commerce integration in social media also builds credibility of business among the customers. Commerce integration also eases the purchase experience of the customers. 

Social Commerce Example

Walmart is a retail giant, and is well known for using commerce. They have business in different countries. They have effectively used TikTok. In China, Walmart used live streaming to sell its products. Similarly, in the US, they used #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt. TikTok allows the customers to find the brands and also be engaged. Walmart uses TikTok’s shoppable product stickers which allows the customer to buy their desired product without leaving the app. They also made exclusive discounts and promotions with the help of video content and live streams. As a result, there was a 25% increase in Walmart followers. 

Nike has a strong presence in social commerce. Nike used Snapchat to prerelease Air Jordan 3 which was sold out in 23 minutes. Similarly, they ran a campaign in 2013 where people were allowed to buy their product through sweat instead of money.  Customers had to use the Nike+ app and #makeitcount on Facebook.

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