What is sCommerce?

Articles by Ask8

#Ask8now – What is sCommerce?
social commerce is more in-depth
and complicated, read more..

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What is sCommerce?

sCommerce is a subcategory of ecommerce – or electronic commerce. In other words, it applies to selling online but in a very specific category.

Here, the “S” stands for ‘SOCIAL’ and so the focus is on selling through social media. That means selling through Facebook, through Twitter or through other online platforms that have a strong social angle.

Really though, social commerce is more in-depth and complicated than that. What social commerce is really about, is leveraging the power of social in order to sell. In other words, using the power of social influence, of recommendations and of other social signals that can be powered online.

Using Social Commerce

That all sounds great on paper but what does social commerce actual entail in a real sense? Normally, social commerce can be split into two different categories:

Onsite Social Commerce

Onsite social commerce essentially describes the process of retailers building social sharing and other social functions into their websites. For example, it means allowing users to share their purchases online and thereby show off the things they’ve bought. Companies like Zazzle allow this.

Another example is Fab.com, which gives a live feed of what shoppers are buying at any given time much like being able to see people move around through the store.

A more straightforward and simple example might be to simply add a comments section or a forum to an online store, such that your customers could discuss purchases with each other or ask you questions.

Offsite Social Commerce

As you might expect, ‘offsite social commerce’ refers to social commerce that occurs not on the page of the business. Instead, this apples to everything that takes place on Facebook, on Twitter, on Pinterest or on other sites.

This tool is in some ways less powerful than onsite methods. A recent poll suggested that only 2% of Facebook users for instance have ever bought directly through the site. Then again though, when you consider that Facebook has 1.5 billion users, that is still a big number.

What’s more, off-site sCommerce can be used in conjunction with on-site and in the longer term, to build more engagement, brand recognition and social influence around your products.


In short then, social commerce remains for now a rather vague and abstract concept. However, that is not to say that it isn’t also a concept that is very much worth learning and exploring for businesses.

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