Social E-commerce is set to revolutionise buying online forever

By Louise Mulgrew | 31st July 2015 | 14 min read

Social media giants Facebook, Twitter, Google and Pinterest are set to launch the facility to buy products and services through their social networking sites.

This will begin to blur the line between a social media network and an e-commerce site, with businesses able to advertise and sell products directly through their social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Google and Pinterest.

Instagram is not taking the same direction (yet). They have integrated a "Buy now" button but this simply redirects the user to the website of the product.

This has come as a massive threat to existing e-commerce giants such as eBay and Amazon. In the next couple of years, it is expected that the social media sites will not only be taking orders, processing payments and sending orders directly to a supplier's warehouse, but they will also be able to use algorithms and consumer behaviour patterns to suggest products to consumers.

Is this good for consumers?

With the technology available to giants such as Facebook and Google, they will be able to tailor adverts and products to show to you based on your likes, interests and previous buying behaviour.

In addition to this, there will more than likely be a strict set of terms and conditions for companies to comply with as well as having to meet certain measures of review such as keeping a good level of customer service and an efficient shipping service.

The idea behind taking e-commerce social makes a lot of sense. Word of mouth marketing is one of the most reliable forms. According to Nielsen, 92% of customers believe what friends and family say over any other form of marketing.

Imagine your friend or relative posting about a pair of shoes that they bought or how cool their new video game is on Facebook. The interest on your behalf is already there because they are a friend or relative. Now chuck in a "buy" button that enables the user to purchase the product directly from seeing it and you have a potentially very lucrative situation, which then also collects further information about a consumer.

While this is currently being tested in North America, the expectancy is that it will be rolled out across the UK and Europe in the next year or so. Advice for small businesses in the UK is to start researching early, do analysis on the types of things your audiences are talking about and start to track where your current customers are having conversations. 

IRIS provide a range of payroll software that is available for small businesses. The streamlined software allows increase time-saving and efficiency meaning that businesses have more time to spend on developing processes such as their social e-commerce plans.