The pandemic has brought people closer even though they are physically distanced. The rise in tech adoption and tech-enabled platforms has tremendously spurred this. Another thing fuelling it is the massive growth in entrepreneurship in recent years. The pandemic has further encouraged many others to start their entrepreneurial journey.
Take the example of one of the hot areas nowadays - Social Commerce. It is not simply just another buzzword but in fact expected to be a sunrise sector. So what is Social Commerce? It is the means of doing a business, trading, transacting or even exchanging ideas (generally online) with a layer of human involvement or emotion in it.
Would you purchase an unfamiliar product from a website or app which you have never even heard of? Chances are that you will not consider it even though you have seen an advertisement on your social media feed. However, if your peers, colleagues, family or friends recommend you to buy the same product from the same website/app that they have recently tried and loved, you most definitely will do the same. These are the basics of Social Commerce.
Trust and word-of-mouth marketing will any day beat the fancy marketing budgets and advertisement ideas people spend hours to create. Advocacy, ratings, reviews and exchanging feedback at the click of a button are some of the common attributes of Social Commerce companies. The intention is to nudge the customer to purchase or use the product / platform after making an informed decision because they have seen or heard someone else doing it.
Several of our youth (more importantly, women too) not only from metro cities but even Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities are becoming more enterprising, independent and are now comfortable and confident of using social media and purchases online. This, along with supportive policies and the rise of influencers everywhere, is a recipe for success.
Social Commerce will play a crucial role in increasing digital presence, digital adoption and bringing unorganised players and sectors into the mainstream. Currently, the market for the millions of talented and hardworking creators, artisans, brands and home entrepreneurs is fragmented, unorganised and without much visibility. That is why many are unable to grow or scale beyond a point. Social Commerce can provide the much-needed fillip and eliminate the boundaries and barriers which are limiting them to flourish.
Lastly, it is all about the user experience and human connection. If one interaction or transaction can have a positive effect on someone’s life or bring a smile or bring someone closer to achieving their long-term goals, just imagine what a thriving Social Commerce platform can achieve! We must encourage the use and spread awareness of these offerings to all our friends and family which will help enrich the fabric of our society. I believe the recent boom in Social Commerce startups worldwide is just the beginning and several sectors, companies and corporations will need to adopt and adapt to this new way of business if they want to win over their customers and survive.
(Chaitanya Davda is Co-Founder, Vocal For Local, a Social Commerce Mobile App and platform that enables home entrepreneurs to scale their businesses)
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