Trends in Social Commerce

Posted by Hariharan Vadivelu on
Social commerce is the new phenomenon which is the latest buzz word in e-commerce world, there were days when business used to spend money on advertisements to promote their products.
The latest trend "Social commerce" goes back to olden days, where "Word-of-mouth" used to be the only means of advertising products.

You would probably rely on reviews and recommendation from your friends rather than a TV commercial or sales representative. Twitter, facebook, Orkut, Youtube, LinkedIn and few other social networking sites are considered to be "virtual malls", where in you are connected with your friends and it is increasingly becoming one of the most important trends in promoting business.

Social commerce is all about taking you business closer to community where in friends in your network share their ratings and reviews on a product. Social commerce brings in greater user experience and confidence before buying a product.

WebSphere Commerce 7 takes another major step forward by providing integration for Social commerce. this feature now allows you to include following functionality on you eStores.
  • Guests can now review a product and this review can be viewed by other users before buying a product.
  • Users who have already purchased a product can provide rate these product on a defined scale.
  • Share a product from your site on facebook or twitter (This is not part of Social commerce package)

WebSphere Commerce Social commerce package integrates with Pluck and Bazaarvoice for most of the social commerce package. it is important to note that social commerce package in WCS 7 is limited to some of the out of the box adapter which can seamlessly integrate with external vendors.

Social Commerce is delivered as a set of WebSphere sMash modules that provide a REST API interface which is called by the social content widgets on the eStore. An adapter is a WebSphere sMash module that implements the Social Commerce Service Adapter API. To develop a new adapter for a service provider, you must create a new WebSphere sMash module.

NOTE: Social commerce package is not part of the regular Store EAR file and this is a new sMash module which needs to be enabled. 

You would probably notice that every big retailer today supports social commerce features on their eStores or is in the process of supporting one. Social commerce strategy is technology combined with creativity and it is important that you understand the minds of shoppers based on what you sell before implementing social commerce solution on your site.

For more details refer to IBM Social commerce Whitepaper


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