Being an entrepreneur in this technology-driven world is no longer rocket science. Gone are the days when you require a physical store to transact business. Today, if you have a tangible product to sell, you can simply take good pictures of your product with a smartphone and share them on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp etc). As easy as ABC. Before you even finish posting the pictures, you might begin to receive orders. This is called or referred to as Social Commerce.
Social commerce is a subset of electronic commerce that involves social media, online media that supports social interaction, and user contributions to assist online buying and selling of products and services. More succinctly, social commerce is the use of social network(s) in the context of e-commerce transactions.
The interesting thing about social commerce is that anyone can have access to it. This is probably why it is gaining momentum and begs the question, will social commerce ever overthrow eCommerce?
Social Commerce and eCommerce
Social commerce is a subset of electronic commerce. Regardless, both are used to market a product targeted at potential buyers.
As social commerce gathers momentum, eCommerce companies like Jumia and others are not lagging behind. Jumia (@JumiaNigeria) can be found on all social media platforms you could think of not only marketing a product or service but also interacting and engaging the customers and at the same time giving out freebies like it has been doing since the beginning of Black Friday.
Fascinatingly, Jumia is an ecosystem. You can also buy food, book hotel and flights. All these services can be processed for you Jumia’s responsive social media teams.
The emergence of social commerce is very much appreciated and it has afforded a good and significant number of Nigerians to become entrepreneurs. At the same time, the number of fraudulent social commerce platforms have also increased. This is because it is a free-for-all platform. Trust is lacking and it is very easy for you to lose your money. And when you do, who do you complain to? No one! However, note that this does not mean that there are no trustworthy social commerce platforms. It is just advisable to be careful and cautious if you decide to patronise one.
Over the last six years, Jumia has built a solid and reputable eCommerce ecosystem. Buyers can easily return items as long as it meets the terms and conditions of the return policy and of course refunds are made no matter the circumstances involved.
So will social commerce ever overthrow eCommerce? The answer to that is…But what we know is that eCommerce sites like Jumia and others use social media to sell products on the backbone of having built a structured eCommerce ecosystem. So, whether or not social commerce will ever overthrow ecommerce, the truth is that Jumia and others will continue to innovate to meet the demands of this fast-changing world so that they won’t be caught napping!
Adeniyi Ogunfowoke is a PR associate at Jumia Travels.