Will social commerce ever replace e-commerce?

With native transactions happening on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and other platforms, how can e-commerce sites step up and avoid the threat from social commerce?
Written by Eileen Brown, Contributor

Video: Salesforce study suggests limited social media impact on ecommerce

E-commerce sites are under threat from the rising tide of social commerce transactions. Seamless purchases from Pinterest's 60 million buyable pins and Instagram's frictionless sales directly from within the app make it more difficult for e-commerce sites to compete effectively.

Over 550 million people use Facebook's Marketplace, enabling seamless transactions on the platform -- and e-commerce is starting to struggle against the rising tide.

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Menlo Park, CA-based online video editing company Magisto, surveyed over 750 decision makers in the US throughout May 2018. It wanted to highlight the difficulties e-commerce sites are facing with the rising trend of social commerce transactions.

Although three out of four (75 percent) of respondents manage at least one third-party e-commerce profile, they are being used in a passive way. Instead of cultivating good customer relationships, these passive transactions are satisfying customer demand only.

Already sales through social media is rising. Only 26 percent of respondents say they use third-party e-commerce platforms to market their business, compared to 71 percent who use social media.

Almost three out of four (72 percent) of marketers say they would be more likely to use third-party e-commerce sites if they offered more tools to actively market or promote their business, or if they could natively create, upload, and edit content on the platform.

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It discovered that the gap between social and e-commerce sales will narrow dramatically in 2018. Almost half of marketers surveyed said that they would use social media for all of their business and marketing transactions if social media platforms offered direct sales.

Almost half (48 percent) of marketers say that if social media platforms offered direct sales, they would be more likely to use social media for all of their business and marketing transactions.

A similar amount (49 percent) said that they would be more likely to use an e-commerce site if they offered video creation as a marketing tool.

Businesses want to become a one-stop-shop, combining social media with e-commerce sales. The challenge is that targeting audiences is hard on third-party e-commerce sites.

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The challenge for e-commerce sites is to become frictionless, and take the customer through a simple journey to sales, maintaining, and growing the relationship with the customer, putting them at the heart of the relationship.

Social media used to be disconnected from direct sales, but that has changed really quickly. E-commerce sites need to up their game in order to keep up -- or be left behind in the social commerce race

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