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#DigitalDiary: Social commerce – the answer to a reluctant online shopper?

There is a new form of commerce making its way into our lives – social commerce. After Pinterest and Instagram, Facebook also is coming out with a ‘Shop’ feature soon. Google added the ‘Buy’ button on YouTube videos and Twitter also started Product Pages which allow you to buy directly.

It seems that the days of going specifically to an e-commerce site to buy something might be numbered.

As much as ecommerce has made inroads in our lives, I am still an occasional buyer when it comes to buying online – except maybe airline tickets.

It is not that I am not a connected person, or a social media pariah. I see ads of products that I have checked out on a site before, but they do not make a difference or convert me as a customer directly.

What can the ecommerce giants do to convert me as a customer and get me on board with buying a product directly from them?

Social commerce might have the answer to that. There is no doubt that social media sites possess a large amount of user data.

Besides knowing my age, location, gender etc. Facebook knows what I am interested in reading about or watching. The Facebook News Feed, the Twitter Timeline or the Instagram Homepage – these are the places I get my info from mostly. I check them at least five times a day – and even when my intentions are to get off it quickly, I get sucked in by the next interesting BuzzFeed article, spending more time than I intended.

These homepages of the social media giants do work in getting my attention, while the very carefully targeted ads do not.

The challenge for ecommerce lies now in getting new consumers on board, because the old ones are loyal enough to keep coming back. So for getting a consumer, like me, on board, it would be a good idea to target me through these social platforms, which I regularly visit and where well-presented and targeted content does catch my eye and tempt me to click on ‘learn more’ or ‘buy now’.

Shubhi Tandon

Shubhi Tandon is the Assistant Editor at Digital Market Asia. Fascinated by the evolving digital media industry, she has focussed on tracking developments in the Asia Pacific market since 2014.