The Impact Of Social Media On E-Commerce

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Facebook, Social Media and E-Commerce boom and their connection.

When the internet was born, it was helping the armies, however, it began as a competitive advantage for every business that embraced it. Nowadays, very quickly, the Web becomes a business necessity. It is simply not possible to remain competitive without having an online presence.


Over the last few years, the number of adults using social media has skyrocketed worldwide. Facebook recently reported that it had more than 1.2 billion monthly active users on the site in 2013, according to Reuters. More than 70 million people use Pinterest, while Twitter had more than 200 million active users in 2013. In 2016, according to Malaysian Digital Association, Malaysian spends the average of 18 hours on internet per week and Facebook is on top of the list for social sites accessed by Malaysians. Although many people use these and other social media platforms just to stay in touch with their friends and family, they have a profound impact on many aspects of business and e-commerce.

The companies that embraced the existence of social media are now generating roughly $2.4 million every minute through e-commerce. A large chunk of this revenue comes directly from social media, with Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter helping to generate more than $40,000 every 60 seconds

How Social Media Influences Consumer Shopping?

The most obvious explanation behind this phenomenon is that social media is a free marketing tool that allows companies to engage with the customers from all over the world. TV ads, radio spots and print media still play their roles in modern advertising, but nothing beats free.

However, cost only represents the tip of the iceberg.

Unlike its predecessors, social media marketing operates on two-way communication. When delivering your message via television or radio, you might have to wait months to see if your campaign works. Social media allows for instantaneous input from users.

Equally important, that input is highly segmented by geography, demography and interest. Fading are the days of generic advertisements on broadcast television.  It is now possible to A/B test highly individualized messages for equally individualized audiences.

Social media also benefits from a multiplier effect.

With a click of the mouse, users can resend the original “message” to thousands of friends or followers. One might have to spend millions of dollars to create a memorable radio jingle, but a low-cost social media campaign can go viral overnight. Since the referral is coming from friends and contacts, the message benefits from a level of social proof that few corporate advertisements ever enjoy in the world of traditional print media.

Social media influencers play their roles too for instance the rising popular instagrammer Asyallie with almost 1 million followers give impact to the companies who endorsed her and not forgetting the ever famous and fashionable Vivy Yusof (with almost 1 million followers too) whom herself represents her own brand; FashionValet and dUCk. The phenomenal of dUCk scarves gave so much impact to her business as it always sold out within five minutes on the website and the website experienced several crashes too. The thing with Vivy, when she starts to wear something, everyone will follow her and makes her a role model. See how affective is the influences on social media.

Moving on, shoppers embrace the Internet for a variety of reasons — convenience, price, selection — and over the last few years, one of the major developments in the e-commerce arena is social media shopping. Social media shopping refers to the use of virtual social networks, peer reviews and other online social tools in the purchasing process. Today’s consumer is heavily influenced by the choices of his or her peers, which is further reflected in the way brands are using social media to capture attention.

Facebook and beyond

Facebook has been a primary vehicle for brands in not only the promotion of products but also in online transactions. One of the reasons is that Facebook allows consumers to share and talk about the products and services they like, which influences the purchasing decisions of their virtual friends. According to a report from Sociable Labs, 62 percent of online shoppers have read product-related comments from their Facebook friends, 75 percent of them have clicked on the product link to visit the retailer’s site, and 53 percent of those who clicked go even further and buy the product. Twitter is another social media tool in which brands are using to engage customers and encourage purchases, and it’s evident from the numbers that Twitter users don’t mind being pursued by brands — according to a study by Social Media Quickstarter, 64 percent of Twitter users survey claimed to follow certain brands in order to receive exclusive product promotions and discounts.

Should Your E-Commerce Store Embrace Social Media?

Shoppers spend a tremendous amount of time surfing the Web — both on computers and increasingly on mobile devices. Obviously, having an online presence is essential if you want to attract this traffic, but given the sheer number of hours that these very users spend on social media, it would be a mistake not to invest in popular platforms like Facebook, Twitter or Google Plus.

Getting started may seem daunting, but keep in mind that the largest cost is time — not money.

Social media is a free and effective tool that can help you connect with millions of potential customers all over the world.  If you need help accepting payments in your e-commerce or brick-and-mortar store, let us know.

Article by Nabihah Jasri

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