Social Commerce Design

Social Commerce Design

Zhao Huang (Shaanxi Normal University, China)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9787-4.ch061
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Background

The concept of social commerce was first introduced by Yahoo in 2005. It can be simply defined as word-of-mouth applied to e-commerce or a combination of e-commerce and web 2.0 (Dennison et al. 2009). It can be also explained by a more comprehensive definition where social commerce is a an Internet-based commercial application, leveraging social media and web 2.0 technologies which support social interaction and customer generated content in order to assist customers in their decision making and acquisition of products and services within online marketplaces and communities (Huang and Benyoucef, 2013). However, these are not the only definitions since the term “social commerce” can be explained from marketing, retailing, computer science, sociology and psychology perspectives. For instance, in marketing, social commerce is about a noticeable trend in online marketplaces where businesses leverage social media or web 2.0 as a direct marketing tool to support customers’ decision making processes and buying behavior (Constantinides & Fountain 2008). In computer technology, social commerce can be described as an online mediated application combining web 2.0 technologies, such as Ajax and RSS with interactive platforms, such as social networking sites and content communities in a commercial environment (Lee et al. 2008). With respect to sociology, social commerce is about utilizing web-based social communities by e-commerce companies, focusing on the impact of social influence which shapes the interaction among consumers (Wang & Zhang 2012). In psychology, social commerce is a type of social shopping, where people are affected by salient information cues from people within a networked community when they shop online (Marsden, 2009). Although social commerce has been explained differently, the abovementioned definitions give a broad understanding of its concepts.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Virtual Communities: As aggregations of Internet users to form webs of personal relationships in cyberspace.

Social Media Applications: A set of computer-mediated tools that allow people to create, share or exchange information, ideas, and pictures/videos in virtual communities and networks.

Web 2.0: A website that allows users to interact and collaborate with each other in a social media dialogue as creators of user-generated content.

Viral Marketing: An application that marketers use customers to customers (or peer to peer) community power as an effective means to change communication networks into influence networks to promote a product and service in a business context.

Usability: The effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction with which specific customers achieve specific goals in a specific context of use.

Social Commerce: An Internet-based commercial application, leveraging social media and web 2.0 technologies which support social interaction and customer generated content in order to assist customers in their decision making and acquisition of products and services within online marketplaces and communities.

Social Shopping: Consumer behaviour activities involving customers interaction with others through online interpersonal communication in the process of shopping for fashion products.

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