Examples of social commerce include customer ratings and reviews, user recommendations and referrals, social shopping tools, social media optimization, social applications, and social advertising. Technologies such as Augmented Reality (AR) have also been used with social commerce, allowing shoppers to visualize apparel items on themselves and solicit feedback through social networking.
According to Fred Cavazza in Forbes, social commerce existed through Amazon and Ebay, and the foundations of social commerce were established years ago in the book Cluetrain Manifesto: "Markets are conversations." He identifies six practices associated with social commerce: 1. Buyer community (GDGT) 2. Group buying (Groupon, Living Social) 3. Purchase sharing (JustBoughtIt) 4. Curation (Polyvore, Pinterest) 5. Social advice (Fashism) 6. Co-shopping (like the Shop Together app then used by Charlotte Russe)
The term social commerce was introduced by Yahoo! in November 2005 to
describe a set of collaborative online shopping tools such as shared
pick lists, user ratings and other user-generated content sharing.
Online marketers like the idea of getting advice from trusted
individuals (word-of-mouse) because research shows it increases the users' trust in
one retailer over another. It's considered the Holy Grail of marketing: Making your customers your marketers.
Social media experts say the very notion of shopping on a retailer's website will become dated. Expecting people to come to your website is expecting them to make an extra effort. If you want to participate in social commerce, you need a commerce presence on a social networking site such as Facebook.