User-Generated Content & E-Commerce Equals Success

Gone are the days when one had to get up, dress up, and then drive all the way down to the supermarket and stand in line in order to get a couple of things. These days, instead of dragging a cart around the market, we stay home in our PJs and scrunchies, shop at our leisure, add items to a virtual shopping cart, and wait with bated breath for UPS for said items to be delivered to our doorstep.


Social Media & E-Commerce: Social Commerce 


So yeah, eBay and Amazon are currently the champions of e-commerce, but now there seems to be a new hero in town — social commerce. Buying and selling are happening everywhere in our world now. The idea was taken further into the world of social media. So we put social media and e-commerce together to get social commerce. Now shoppers can shop anywhere: Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, etc., and still get the satisfactory shopping experience they crave. Basically, everywhere you go online is now a marketplace. 


Even multinational corporations nowadays make use of social commerce. Instagram transformed the product discovery experience and shortened the path to purchase as brands began creating Instagram shops rather than fighting to bring potential customers to their site.  eBay now organizes daily Facebook deals and social networks have become just another platform for e-commerce transactions.
Facebook says about 450 million users patronize the various buy and sell groups. Social commerce, however, is more than just having official social media accounts. An effective social commerce campaign has user-generated content at its core, which has become integral to driving sales.

“Advertising” & “Editorial”


The concept of social commerce denotes a set of online collaborative shopping tools such as user ratings, shared pick lists, and other user-generated content-sharing of online product information and advice. An Advertorial is an advertisement in the form of editorial content. The term “advertorial” is a blend of the words “advertising” and “editorial.”


The term “social commerce” was first introduced on Yahoo! in 2005. David Beisel originally developed the concept to denote user-generated advertorial content on e-commerce sites, to include collaborative e-commerce tools that enable shoppers “to get advice from trusted individuals, find goods and services, and then purchase them.” Social networks that spread this advice have been found to increase the customer’s trust in one retail brand over another.


With social commerce specifically, what better way to advertise a product than to have a friend recommend it to you? When a product is directly integrated into becoming content itself, it bypasses the typical filter that consumers put up to ignore or be at least somewhat skeptical of the advertising. When this advertorial content is generated by a friend, an element of trust is integrated into the advertorial that wouldn’t necessarily be present otherwise.


Social commerce helps companies engage customers with their brands according to the customers’ social behaviors. It also provides an incentive for customers to return to a company’s website and a platform to talk about their brand. Most importantly, it provides all the information customers need to research, compare and ultimately choose one company’s brand over their competitor.  Check out the social commerce infographic below.  

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