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Social commerce sparks a new era in online shopping

Social commerce gained prominence in the mid-2000s as social media platforms began to integrate shopping features while the exact origin may be difficult to trace.

In 2000s, the popularity of social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest provided a new way for people to connect and share information online.

The introduction of "Like" button by Facebook in the year 2009, allowed users to endorse and share their preferences for products and brands. This marked an early integration of social interaction with online content. Pinterest, launched in 2010, focused on visual content and allowed users to create boards of products they liked. On the similar lines, the use of hashtags on Twitter facilitated discussions about products and brands. Companies began incorporating hashtags to promote products and engage with consumers. While Instagram introduced shoppable posts, enabling businesses to tag products in their posts, allowing users to view product details and make purchases directly within the platform.

The rise of live streaming and influencer marketing on platforms like Instagram and TikTok further integrated social elements into the shopping experience, as influencers showcased and endorsed products during live sessions. The users can share products, write reviews, and recommend purchases to their social circles as social interactions influence buying decisions.

Live commerce involves real-time interactions between sellers and buyers through live video streaming. Sellers showcase products, answer questions, and take orders in real-time, creating a dynamic and interactive shopping experience.

Some social commerce experiences incorporate AR technology to allow users to virtually try out products before making a purchase.

The users can browse products while staying within the social media app. Products can be often showcased with engaging visuals and videos. They can make purchases without leaving the social media app offering secure payment options, making transactions convenient. The integration of secure and convenient payment systems within social media platforms has made it easier for users to make purchases directly without leaving the platform.

The continuous innovation in technology and the changing consumer behaviour have further shaped the landscape of social commerce, making it an integral part of the e-commerce ecosystem. This type of marketing helps small businesses to reach a broader audience without the need for an independent e-commerce website.


  • Real-time live streaming of product demonstrations and sales events.

  • Virtual try-on experiences to enhance product visualization.

  • Conversational commerce through messaging apps for personalized shopping experiences.

  • Expansion of in-app shopping features and dedicated marketplace sections.

  • Increasing emphasis on eco-friendly and socially responsible products.

Pricing Strategy for SMEs

Research competitors and offer competitive prices to attract customers. Create bundles or offer discounts for multiple purchases to encourage higher spending. Use urgency and scarcity to drive sales through flash sales and limited-time promotions. Rewarding repeat customers with discounts, exclusive offers, or loyalty points. Partnering with other businesses for joint promotions, expanding customer reach.

For SMEs, strategic pricing, engaging content, and leveraging upcoming trends can help them thrive in this evolving landscape, while consumers benefit from a more convenient and socially connected shopping experience.

The landscape of social commerce is continually evolving, and new types and features may emerge as technology advances and consumer behaviour changes.

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