Social Commerce Using Social Network and E-Commerce

Social Commerce Using Social Network and E-Commerce

Roberto Marmo (University of Pavia, Italy)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5888-2.ch228
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Background

A social network is a social structure composed of individuals, organizations, company etc. which are connected by relationships and interactions. Web-based social networks are online communities that allow users to publish resources (personal data, photo, video, blog) and to establish relationships of a different type about business, entertainment, gaming, dating, etc. Usage and diffusion of social networking platform has been increasing, with hundreds web platforms in the world collecting the information of more than one billion registered users. Therefore, today social networks are used intensely to communicate, share information, make decisions, and do business in many ways. Well-known social networking websites are: Facebook as generic social network, LinkedIn and Viadeo as business social network, Flickr about photo sharing and Google+ as solution from Google search engine. Thus, online social network is a relevant part of human life (Fu, Chen, Liu, & Wang, 2007; Goth, 2008) and it is truly the reflection of today’s society.

Consumers generally want to ask their friends or experts about a shopping decision or want to share their new purchase with friends; therefore, conversations regarding shopping happen all the time. Consumers generally are communicating with each other via social network. For selling message and open up new sales opportunities, it is necessary to resound with customers and to take advantage of their social network channels by interacting with them, in order to send business messagges to customers and their friends.

Electronic commerce, commonly known as e-commerce or eCommerce, is a type of industry where the buying and selling of products or services is conducted over electronic systems such as Internet and other computer networks. E-Commerce is not only limited to online sales, but also covers: real-time management of product availability (stock), online payment, delivery tracking and after-sales service. E-commerce sites are online stores which have at least the following elements at the front-office (customer) level:

  • Electronic catalog listing all products for sale, their price and availability;

  • Search engine which makes it possible to easily locate a product using search criteria;

  • Virtual cart or virtual caddy, it makes possible to trace the purchases of the client along the shopping path;

  • Secure online payment ensured by a trusted third party via secure transaction;

  • Order tracking system, which allows tracking of order processing and provides information on pickup of the package by the shipper.

A back-office system allows the online dealer to organize electronic catalog, modify prices, add or remove product, handle client orders.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Word-of-Mouth: Passing of information from person to person by oral or written communication.

Mobile Social Commerce: Integration of social media with e-commerce on mobile platforms.

Influencer: People who potentially have the power to convince others to stay or switch to other brand.

Trust: Psychological status of depending on another person or organization to achieve a planned goal.

Social Shopping: A natural extension of our everyday behaviors, where people go shopping with friends.

Social Media Marketing: The process of gaining website traffic or attention through social media sites. Social media marketing programs usually center on efforts to create content that attracts attention and encourages readers to share it with their social networks.

E-Commerce: Buying and selling of products or services conducted over Internet and other computer networks.

Social Networking: Grouping of individuals into specific groups or communities.

Social CRM: The integration of social media into customer relationship management as tool focused on optimizing customer lifetime value.

Social Commerce: An emerging approach of e-commerce that involves using social network to supports social interaction, to assist in the online buying, to facilitate discussion between seller and between buyer and seller or buyer and his friends.

Social Network Analysis: Mathematical technique developed to understand structure and behaviour between members of social system, to map relationships between individuals in social network.

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