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Social Media Marketing

Tracy L. Tuten & Michael R. Solomon

Social Commerce

Chapter 9

Learning objectives

What is the relationship between social commerce and e-commerce?

How are mobile devices and software applications influencing the development of social commerce?

How do social shoppers use social media as they move through the consumer decision-making process? Which social commerce elements should marketers employ to meet social shoppers’ needs?

How do ratings and reviews provide value for consumers and marketers?

What are the psychological factors that influence social shopping?


Figure 9.1 The zone of social commerce

Understanding social commerce

Social commerce is a subset of e-commerce that uses social media applications to enable online shoppers to interact and collaborate during the shopping experience, buyers to complete the stages of the purchase decision process, and to assist marketers in selling to customers.

It encompasses social shopping, social marketplaces, and hybrid channels and tools that enable shared participation in a buying decision.

It enables people, both networks of buyers and sellers, to participate actively in the marketing and selling of products and services in online marketplaces and communities.

Relationship between social commerce and social shopping

Social shopping is the active participation in the consumer decision-making process (one’s own and that of others), typically in the form of opinions, recommendations, and experiences shared via social media.

It refers to consumers’ behavior as they use social media to make purchase decisions. Social commerce is the commercial application of social media to drive the acquisition and retention of customers.

Key social commerce elements

Ratings and reviews


Curated merchandise


Shopping applications and venues


Shopping apps facilitate social commerce

Chatbots add another layer of mobility and convenience to social shopping!

The consumer decision-making process

Problem recognition

Information search

Alternative evaluation


Post-purchase evaluation

Stage 1: Problem recognition

Problem recognition is facilitated by several social commerce tools:

Social ads on social networking sites

Shared endorsements from friends posted in activity streams

Curated images and lists on sites like Pinterest

Location-based promotions (e.g., Yelp)

Participatory commerce (e.g., Kickstarter)

Betabrand crowdsources product design using social media, an approach called participatory commerce.One success story is its “dress yoga pants” which solve the problem women face when dashing from work to yoga class!

Credit: /Dragonimages

Stage 1: Problem recognition

Stage 2: Information search

Information search is facilitated by several social commerce tools:

Comments and conversations throughout social channels

Ratings and reviews posted on sites (e.g., Yelp, Zagat, Citysearch)

Product and pricing information tagged to image posts

Social search queries on social network sites

Social sharing of wish lists and gift registries

Conversational commerce (chatbot services)

The prevalence and availability of information online, including via social channels, have changed the information search experience.

Tuten, Tracy (TT) – it would be good to use this if possible. it is from Google’s ZMOT information. Or to reconstruct if that would be permissable.

The power of ratings and reviews

95% of consumers report having read reviews prior to making a purchase decision.

66% of consumers read 1–10 reviews before making a purchase.

70% of mobile shoppers are more likely to purchase if the mobile site or app includes reviews.

82% seek out negative reviews as an indicator of authenticity.

60% have viewed a review on their smartphone while shopping in-store.

Transparency in reviews

25% have seen reviews they believe to be fake

21% have seen customers be paid or incentivized to post a positive review

81% find it difficult to distinguish between what is authentic user content and native advertising

Incentivized reviewers are less likely than non-incentivized reviewers to give a 1-star rating and four times less likely to be critical in the review.

Amazon prohibits incentivized reviews.

Stage 3: Evaluation of alternatives

Evaluation of alternatives is facilitated by several social commerce tools:

Bar code scanning/price comparisons using mobile phone apps

Recommendations, testimonials, recommendation agents, and popularity filters

Ratings and reviews

Stage 4: Purchase

Purchase is facilitated by several social commerce tools:

Shop within network options (e.g., Facebook Buy, InstaShop, Snapchat Deeplinks)

Social shopping malls (e.g., Wanelo)

Peer-to-peer marketplaces (e.g., Etsy)

Group buys (e.g., LivingSocial, Groupon)

Conversational commerce (chatbot services)

Stage 5: Post-purchase evaluation

Post-purchase evaluation is facilitated by several social commerce tools:

Comments posted on social network sites

Request for help or comment to brand on social network sites

Participation in loyalty program with social benefits

Submission of ratings and reviews on review sites and retailer website

Reviews and product experiences posted on blogs

The moment of advocacy: The third MOT


Zero MOT

First MOT

Second MOT

Third MOT

Best practices

Authenticity: Accept comments, even if negative

Transparency: Disclose invited/incentivized opinions

Advocacy: Let people rate the value of reviews

Participatory: Encourage customers to review

Reciprocity: Express gratitude for value of reviews

Infectiousness: Make it easy to share reviews

How can marketers build a strong base of authentic, good reviews?


people about products


people most likely to share opinions


tools to make it easier to share opinions


how, when, and where opinions are shared

Listen and respond

to supporters, detractors, and neutrals

Mini-case study: Mantraband’s approach to social commerce

Uses Shopify to enable purchases from within its Facebook page (i.e., social storefront)

Uses Yotpo app to manage request for customer reviews including mobile functionality and auto-posting to social network sites

Curates organic UGC content from multiple sites

Credit: / m-gucci

Tuten, Tracy (TT) – Insert photo 9.5

For reflection

Both consumers and brands can be victims of social commerce fraud!

Fraudsters pose as a legitimate brand on social media. They then scam customers while undermining the brand’s reputation and creating negative brand sentiment.

For reflection

A study of 5,000 brand profiles on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram found that nearly 20% of social media brand profiles were fake accounts used to

Offer counterfeit products and services

Phish for personally identifiable information to use in identity theft

Infect victims with malware

Maliciously attack brands

Generate ad revenue

For reflection

Psychology of influence

Influence factors may make it more or less likely that people will change their attitudes or behavior based on a persuasive message.

Bounded rationality and information overload encourage the use of heuristics such as satisficing and thin-slicing when making decisions.

The psychology of influence

Social proof






Social shopping tools are designed with these influence factors to facilitate consumer movement through the purchase decision-making process.

Recap and questions

What is the relationship between social commerce and e-commerce? How are mobile devices and software applications influencing the development of social commerce?

How do social shoppers use social media as they move through the consumer decision-making process? Which social commerce elements should marketers employ to meet social shoppers’ needs?

How do ratings and reviews provide value for consumers and marketers?

What are the psychological factors that influence social shopping?

How it Works

  1. Clіck оn the “Place оrder tab at the tоp menu оr “Order Nоw” іcоn at the bоttоm, and a new page wіll appear wіth an оrder fоrm tо be fіlled.
  2. Fіll іn yоur paper’s іnfоrmatіоn and clіck “PRІCE CALCULATІОN” at the bоttоm tо calculate yоur оrder prіce.
  3. Fіll іn yоur paper’s academіc level, deadlіne and the requіred number оf pages frоm the drоp-dоwn menus.
  4. Clіck “FІNAL STEP” tо enter yоur regіstratіоn detaіls and get an accоunt wіth us fоr recоrd keepіng.
  5. Clіck оn “PRОCEED TО CHECKОUT” at the bоttоm оf the page.
  6. Frоm there, the payment sectіоns wіll shоw, fоllоw the guіded payment prоcess, and yоur оrder wіll be avaіlable fоr оur wrіtіng team tо wоrk оn іt.

Nоte, оnce lоgged іntо yоur accоunt; yоu can clіck оn the “Pendіng” buttоn at the left sіdebar tо navіgate, make changes, make payments, add іnstructіоns оr uplоad fіles fоr the оrder created. e.g., оnce lоgged іn, clіck оn “Pendіng” and a “pay” оptіоn wіll appear оn the far rіght оf the оrder yоu created, clіck оn pay then clіck оn the “Checkоut” оptіоn at the next page that appears, and yоu wіll be able tо cоmplete the payment.

Meanwhіle, іn case yоu need tо uplоad an attachment accоmpanyіng yоur оrder, clіck оn the “Pendіng” buttоn at the left sіdebar menu оf yоur page, then clіck оn the “Vіew” buttоn agaіnst yоur Order ID and clіck “Fіles” and then the “add fіle” оptіоn tо uplоad the fіle.

Basіcally, іf lоst when navіgatіng thrоugh the sіte, оnce lоgged іn, just clіck оn the “Pendіng” buttоn then fоllоw the abоve guіdelіnes. оtherwіse, cоntact suppоrt thrоugh оur chat at the bоttоm rіght cоrner


Payment Prоcess

By clіckіng ‘PRОCEED TО CHECKОUT’ yоu wіll be lоgged іn tо yоur accоunt autоmatіcally where yоu can vіew yоur оrder detaіls. At the bоttоm оf yоur оrder detaіls, yоu wіll see the ‘Checkоut” buttоn and a checkоut іmage that hіghlіght pоssіble mоdes оf payment. Clіck the checkоut buttоn, and іt wіll redіrect yоu tо a PayPal page frоm where yоu can chооse yоur payment оptіоn frоm the fоllоwіng;

  1. Pay wіth my PayPal accоunt‘– select thіs оptіоn іf yоu have a PayPal accоunt.
  2. Pay wіth a debіt оr credіt card’ or ‘Guest Checkout’ – select thіs оptіоn tо pay usіng yоur debіt оr credіt card іf yоu dоn’t have a PayPal accоunt.
  3. Dо nоt fоrget tо make payment sо that the оrder can be vіsіble tо оur experts/tutоrs/wrіters.


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