sCommerce - the fourth retail channel

eCommerce came first, then mCommerce and now sCommerce; the power of social media and personal recommendations

How times are changing. It wasn’t that long ago when consumers had to physically leave their homes to go down to the shops to buy something. Then eCommerce came about and the dynamic changed significantly. Now, half of all Brits (31.8 million) use the internet to make those same purchases. The next evolution was mCommerce which sees more than 8% of online shoppers in the UK using their smartphones to buy online. This trend has just started and is already promising explosive growth over the coming years.

The fourth retail channel is sCommerce, or social commerce. This is being driven by four specific trends:


  1. The immense popularity of social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter
  2. The vast amounts of time people are spending on social sites
  3. The way people are using social media to find advice and read reviews prior to making purchases
  4. The rate at which retailers and brands are elevating their social presence and voice

While eCommerce and mCommerce require infrastructure – shopping enabled websites – sCommerce requires time and the right approach. Engaging customers and converting them to your brand is a defined skill, but it’s one that can be learned. The power behind sCommerce is the power a personal recommendation has. 

Traditional marketing involves pushing out your message in the hope someone will latch on and take some interest. While this approach still works, social media empowers more of a pull approach where your customers will pull their friends in and advocate on your behalf. This can be as simple as someone tweeting about the great new product they just bought, liking your brand, or suggesting a friend checks it out as it’s just what they’ve been looking for.

One of the key advantages to using social media to promote your business is the payoff. Not only does it offer a sales channel, but it puts you directly in front of your customer base. By listening to them and understanding what they want, you can offer a tailored experience that meets their needs. This two-way interaction gives your customer a voice, and that is one of the strengths of sCommerce for both you and for them.