We are living an era where social networks dominate the digital world while they also continue to gain ground in mobile advertising where Smartphones and tablets are the primary communication channel. On that basis, social media networks are gradually transforming into “native mobile advertising platforms”. Facebook recently announced that about two-thirds of the total revenues came from mobile ads, while Twitter’s mobile advertising revenues constituted 75% of its total advertising revenue. But, is having ads as their primary revenue stream enough for the social media players?
While retailers keep investing mobile aiming to increase their sales by attracting more online shoppers, the significant rise of social networks creates an attractive marketing model capable of transforming the way that mobile users shop. This model is known as “s-commerce” and is the next big thing for the key social media players.
The s-commerce just arrived
As defined successfully by Mashable the term of “s-commerce” is used to describe the new online retail models or marketing strategies that incorporate established social networks to drive sales, or in other words how social media can leverage the online commerce. But how social media platforms are preparing themselves for the s-commerce era? What can we expect from them and which are the main focal points?
The key players in social media are looking for ways to integrate purchase options within their traditional social networking functionalities. Facebook officially announced the introduction of a ‘Buy’ button on mobile and desktop version which enables users to instantly purchase a product. At the same time Twitter started experimenting with its new m-commerce feature “Buy Now” button which enables Twitter users to purchase products directly from the tweet feed. Additionally, Twitter completed the acquisition of CardSpring, a payments start-up, and also partnered with another payments company named Stripe in an effort to expand its commerce features.
In the future, rather than clicking to a merchant website users will have the option to enter their credit card info directly into Facebook and Twitter and purchase products without leaving their favorite social media.
With a different approach LiketoKnow.it gives Instagram users the option to shop products from their picture feed. Every time that a user likes a photo tagged with liketk.it, the platform triggers an email with shopping links related to the liked picture-product. The idea is simple and quite attractive: You buy what you like!
Two main priorities for the social media player
The integration of purchase features (payments, transactions etc) in social media platforms raises two main concerns for the social media companies. When the time to shop online comes, user privacy and security is the first priority for the online customers. Customers are looking for crystal clear shopping flows that protect their privacy in a secure and safe way.
What can we expect?
While Facebook and Twitter are still experimenting with their purchase features, the “s-commerce” is still in its infancy and we should expect more attractive online shopping models in the near future. Social media will continue to drive leads and conversions and they will increasingly focus their attention on shopping options within their feeds. Start-ups and payments companies will partner to offer new s-commerce solutions, products will continue to appear in social media feeds and social media power will be used to enhance the mobile shopping experience.
Be prepared! The purchase options within social media feeds are on their way!