Social Commerce : A level-up in online retail revolution

Social media isn’t simply constrained to conversations and sharing of pictures and contemplations. In India, the e-commerce market is booming and an ever increasing number of Indians are getting online and utilizing a number of social media platforms. Sales through social media platforms represents more than 79 per cent of the total online selling of goods and services in India, according to the PayPal report. Facebook, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger are used most by merchants in India, than anyplace crosswise over Asia (excluding China).

A PwC study suggests that 850 million individuals will have access to mobile data by 2022; brands and consumers are probably going to associate all the more often over this channel. This has opened doors to a new way of selling — social commerce.

Social Commerce is essentially consumer-to-consumer internet business; a transaction occurs between two people, and not an individual and a marketplace. How about we look into this somewhat more profound. Companies display catalogues of their products on their sites and/or apps for a commission. They run ads on Google and Facebook to draw in resellers to sell these goods for commission. Reseller use their social networks- Facebook, WhatsApp, etc,- to reach out to the customers with the catalogue. If a customer wants a product, reseller puts in a request to place an order. Buyers gets the product delivered directly from the company and are offered various modes to pay via including Digital India Payment modes to pay for the same. Reseller gets an opportunity to earn money online while working from home. Resellers can add up their edge as margin, besides earning a commission and a bonus.

Buyers and sellers connect directly with each other over the internet in a community, interaction and communication-based ways for shopping, offering more friendly and personalized customer experience. Many emerging brands and traders crosswise over India thinks that it is less demanding to engage in this method of e-commerce since setting up their own websites and driving traffic from different sources is an arduous and complex process. It is generously easier for them to simply start selling through social media platforms like Facebook or WhatsApp. They don’t need to stress then over getting traffic.

These social commerce platforms are riding on the user bases of social media platforms like WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, etc. to assemble e-commerce solutions for the next 200-300 million social media users in India. Online marketplaces like Flipkart and Amazon also have a large and an active user base but have far smaller than that of social media platforms. Thus, social commerce additionally have lower customer acquisition costs since they tap into existing channels like WhatsApp or Facebook to reach out to the customers.

Thus, taking such large user base and potential clients into consideration, running an effective business venture online is not a task anymore with availability of inexpensive and easy to use POS machines, android POS or inventory management systems that can manage incoming orders and payments mechanism in just few clicks, taking much of the load off your shoulders and helping you generate more sales through social media platforms.

Of the emerging social commerce start-ups, Meesho is one of the biggest in India, appealing to both customers and sellers. It connects resellers directly with raw material suppliers and uses WhatsApp (primarily) and Facebook among other social media platforms. A lion’s share of the resellers on Meesho are homemakers, small entrepreneurs, small boutique brands and those who sell art and craft, fashion wear, home and kitchen products, among different categories.

It provide platforms where a individual can easily turn himself into a reseller by either opting to sell the company’s in-house items or their own. Resellers and entrepreneurs normally begin by selling amongst their friends and family.

These platforms additionally takes into account an altogether different kind of selling transaction. These platforms can’t take into account those simply looking to browse or window shop and can’t catch the spur of the impulse shopper. The sort of resellers that the new social commerce firms target – regardless of whether homemakers or small entrepreneurs – are the individuals who can’t furnish to provide consumers with basic e-commerce services like cash on delivery (COD)/ Digital Payment options. Like major e-commerce platforms, the social commerce organizations also have logistics partners who help provide resellers such services. This is one reason that social selling has been such a major draw for small sellers, particularly in the lifestyle shopping area.

The another huge attraction for sellers hoping to sell through social commerce is that rural and tier II consumers are yet to begin shopping online decisively. According to a research study by Morgan Stanley, there will be explosive growth in the e-commerce industry due to rising internet penetration that’ll bring new consumers under the umbrella of online shopping, taking it to $200 billion by 2026. For these new consumers, social media will be the most convenient and most data-friendly way to shop.

By taking advantage of people’s trustworthy relationships and offer them incentives to sell products without requiring any working or operating capital, the social commerce business has cut heaps of the expensive overheads related to e-commerce. Customer acquisition cost is low, for example. The idea of social commerce is grabbing hold over the world as the industry attempts to put the consumer at the core of the selling procedure. India’s comparatively aborning e-commerce industry might leapfrog into social commerce; avoiding or skipping traditional ways of e-commerce, as has already occurred in Southeast Asian markets.

Among the merchant respondents, 79 per cent sell through social media platforms. Among these, 89 per cent sell through Facebook, 83 per cent by means of WhatsApp and 41 per cent use Instagram. Indeed, even among the non-social selling merchants, 81 per cent are likely to sell on social media platforms in future, indicating the growth in social commerce. The development of social commerce in India is additionally fuelling the adoption of digital India payments.

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