Mobile commerce is at a stage where it is beginning to evolve and become better identified through the particular sectors in which it is thriving. In social media, the idea of engaging consumers that have become inseparable from their mobile devices has become a prime directive. Companies like Facebook and Twitter are making efforts to engage mobile consumers and they are managing to do this through social commerce.
Social commerce is a concept that was devised by David Beisel to identify user-generated, advetorial content on e-commerce sites. Essentially, social commerce is the practice of passive marketing by consumers who share products that they’re interested in on social media platforms. These platforms act as a point of exposure, allowing people to easily find products that they might be interested in but have never heard of before. Beyond advertisements, these social media platforms can also act as e-commerce gateways, allowing their users to quickly purchase products.
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Given the popularity of mobile technology, social media platforms have become particularly enthralled with the idea of social commerce. More social media organizations are leveraging their massive user bases to tout their commerce potential, attracting the attention of retail companies and other businesses. These businesses are turning to social platforms because they lack the tools needed to engage a mobile-centric and often very fickle audience. Social media has proven that it can capture the attention of these consumers quite effectively.
Social commerce is still in its early stages and social media organizations are still working out how to effectively engage a massive, mobile population. Some initiatives have been more successful than others, but every failure provides valuable insight into how mobile consumers want to shop online from their smartphones and tablets. In the coming years, social commerce could play a major role in the retail industry, as it would turn the shopping experience into a community effort, rather than having it be a primarily solitary venture.