Here are five recent innovative social commerce initiatives from around the planet spotted by the brilliant go-to resource for entrepreneurial ideas, Springwise.

Proof positive that there’s more to social commerce than social plugins on e-commerce sites and e-commerce stores on social sites.

How could you ‘jam’ these social commerce ideas to make them work for your business?

1) Californian fashion brand, Volga Verdi, offers discounts based on shopper’s social influence:

“Word of mouth is an essential tool in any company’s kit if used correctly. Californian fashion brand Volga Verdi were well aware of the power of the spoken word when they offered discounts to their customers based on the amount of contacts they had on social networks — the more popular the customer, the more discount they received. This clever campaign encouraged customers to increase their friendship base, all the while broadening the company’s pool of potential fans. Customers were also more likely to associate the Volga Verdi brand with the attributes of friendship — trust and kindness — thereby enhancing their brand image in one fell swoop”

2) Danish chocolate brand Anthon Berg, opens pop-up store to sell chocolate for good deeds, not money (covered by SCT here)

“There’s nothing quite like a business venture that combines clever ideas whilst rewarding good behaviour. Chocolatier Anthon Berg managed just this with their sweet gifts being sold in exchange for acts of kindness. The use of iPads to replace tills meant that staff members could immediately post the good deed to the customer’s facebook wall, successfully sharing the person’s thoughtful act as well as marketing the brand”.

3) Korean Emart (ex-Walmart stores) uses sun strength to time discounts for slack periods

“There’s nothing groundbreaking in the idea of shops maximising sales during quiet periods by slashing their prices, however South Korea’s Emart added a touch of adventure to their discount offers. The Seoul retailer placed QR codes dotted around the city that could only be scanned between the hours of 12 noon and 1 pm each day. Between these times the QR codes were visible because the sun was at its highest in the sky, casting the correct shadow for the 3D QR code to form. Once customers scanned a code they were taken to Emart’s homepage where they could browse reduced price items and have purchases delivered direct to their door”. [reverse group-buy concept – the fewer who buy, the lower the price]

4)  Mexican retro sneaker brand, Panam, relaunches with free shoe exchange

“The Mexican sneaker company Panam noticed an increasing demand for their 80s designs as a demand for retro style swept the country. They boosted their wavering popularity by organizing shoe exchanges in the country’s busiest squares, where people were encouraged to bring an old pair of shoes and swap them for a Panam pair.”

5) Finnish Insurance company ‘If’ recruits existing policyholders to advise potential customers

“It is a brave company who hands over responsibility for their brand image to the consumer, but Finnish insurance company If did just this when they asked 852 of their customers to provide live one-to-one testimonials to potential customers over the telephone. These one-to-ones could include positive and negative feedback on the company and aimed to give a fair and unbiased assessment of the service offered. This was a potentially risky strategy that empowered the consumer. Fan-sourcing sales platform, Needle, also recognized the importance of customer testimonials, matching up brands with their most loyal fans to provide personalized recommendations for potential customers.”

For more social commerce ideas and inspiration, pre-order our new book out this fall The Social Commerce Handbook; 20 Secrets for Turning Social Media into Social Sales, published in October by McGraw Hill.