Ecommerce VS Social Commerce

April 4th, 2022 by

Ecommerce vs social commerce at first glance may seem a hard choice to make, but once you get to know the difference between ecommerce versus social commerce, you’ll realise that they both work together to participate in sales increase.

Kicking off with social commerce, social commerce is made up of social media marketing and ecommerce. Social commerce is the promotion and selling of products and services using social media platforms. When a good social media marketing campaign is launched, impressions, clicks, reach and engagement increase, leading to conversions in the form of sales as the user is redirected to an online store. Put simply, social commerce are purchases made directly from a social media channel. So when you think about social commerce vs ecommerce, social commerce is a way for people and brands to connect over a product interest. 

Social commerce happens entirely on a social media platform, from product discovery and interest, through to consideration and purchasing. Ecommerce is a sales experience or consumer journey which leads to a product purchase on a company’s website or application. 

When it comes to ecommerce vs social commerce, we need to understand that as social media grows, it causes an increase in e-commerce for social media. For example, a study by Facebook in 2019 saw 87% of users following a brand or visiting their website after seeing a product on Instagram and 54% of users purchased a product. With social commerce increasing sales, retailers are utilising social commerce as part of an omnichannel commerce strategy, delivering experiences across channels and interacting with consumers. Retailers are not the only brands to use social commerce, as social commerce marketing agencies are created to help brands implement social commerce as well as ecommerce, creating impactful campaigns that increase sales for brands.

Moving onto ecommerce, ecommerce is when we purchase and sell products or services through the internet. Consumers do not browse for products, but click on products based on photographs or descriptions. Ecommerce may seem similar to social shopping but when it comes to ecommerce vs social shopping, ecommerce involves more than just one category. Ecommerce is made up of 4 categories: business to business, business to consumer, consumer to consumer, consumer to business. These 4 categories enable ecommerce to work as well as it does, opening up new opportunities for businesses and consumers.

Now both ecommerce and social commerce are defined, let’s return to ecommerce vs social commerce. Social commerce is the use of social media platforms to complete ecommerce transactions, increasing sales by working in correlation with each other. 

Ecommerce vs Social Commerce: The similarities 

The similarities between the ecommerce vs social commerce enables them to work well together as a pair, the similarities can be seen here:

  1. Inability to physically touch the product: until the product is shipped, the customer can not gain a real feel of the product. This means that expectations may not be met.
  2. Internet access: to order products or services online, customers must have access to the internet and some do not.
  3. Market costs: both ecommerce and social commerce offer products at a discounted price.
  4. Market trend: sellers keep an eye on the market trends when it comes to both ecommerce and social commerce.

Ecommerce vs Social Commerce: The differences 

Although ecommerce vs social commerce may seem super similar, there are some distinct differences:

  1. Trading: ecommerce has a global trading scope whereas social commerce has a limited trading scope. 
  2. Monitoring: ecommerce does not require daily monitoring, whereas social commerce needs daily monitoring
  3. Communication: ecommerce requires one-way communication and social commerce requires a two-way communication
  4. Time: ecommerce is more time-consuming than social commerce 
  5. Customer engagement: there is less customer engagement when it comes to ecommerce. Social commerce results in more customer engagement
  6. Trust: ecommerce is more trusted than social commerce
  7. Offered by: ecommerce is offered by Amazon, Flipkart, Alibaba, and more. Social commerce is offered by Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok and more.

So with these similarities and differences in mind, ecommerce vs social commerce leads to only positives for businesses and consumers, both working as a pair to get brands known and increase sales. 

FAQs


What is the difference between ecommerce and social commerce?

Ecommerce is purchasing products and services over the internet, such as Amazon and Flipkart, whereas social commerce is ecommerce through a social media platform.

Are ecommerce and social commerce the same?

Although they both seem similar at first glance, ecommerce and social commerce are different, with the main difference being social commerce is a ecommerce performed on a social media network.

Why is social commerce better than ecommerce?

Social commerce is better than ecommerce because social commerce increases brand following and product interest as well as sales, meaning there are more benefits to social commerce than ecommerce. 

What is a social commerce example?

An example of social commerce is an in-app purchase, such as on Asos’s Instagram page where you can browse images of their products and purchase a product directly based off of the image provided.

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