The last few days have seen the publication of three new social commerce reports, two entirely dedicated to the subject (both embedded/downloadable below), and one e-commerce report addressing social commerce (download link).

The first report is a university thesis from Pforzheim University’s Daniel Hoffman of (Daniel works with digital agency Syzygy), and is entitled ‘Social Commerce and its Practical Implementation‘. Unfortunately for non-German speakers, the report is in German – but it’s worth wrangling/mangling sections through Google Translate because there’s some smart content in there – including a useful social commerce bibliography.  For a taster, read Daniel’s overview of the report in English.

The second report is from Lora Cecere of the Altimeter group and is entitled :”Rise of Social Commerce: A Trail Guide for the Social Commerce Pioneer“.  Much of the content has been trailed in Altimeter blog posts and at the Rise of Social Commerce conference that we’ve summarised in a previous post. Under the embedded report, you find our key takeouts from the report.

Finally, the third report is the ATG’s October 2010 e-commerce report “Consumer Shopping Experiences, Preferences, and Behaviors“.  Broader than social commerce, the report nevertheless contains some interesting data on social expectations from customers to retailers (charts below).  The report can be downloaded from ATG here.

Social Commerce and its Practical Implementation: Daniel Hoffman

Overview: Social Commerce and its practical implementation – Which Social Media Tools enable the new E-Commerce?

The abundance of possibilities and information that emerge due to today’s Social Web has been stimulating a debate about the monetization and productive use of the Social Media in the enterprising process for a while now. In this context current researches focus on Social Web Monitoring, Social Customer Relationship Management and Social Commerce.

The thesis at hand deals with concrete uses and services of the Social Media which tend to positively influence buying decisions in E-Commerce and to create customer-loyalty through additional value in the area of communication and cooperation though Social Commerce. In order to show these developments the thesis observes this part of the overall topic from a marketing-political point of view and uses examples of successful implementations in real life. Also the second sub-area, the use of Social Software in the course of the execution of Social Commerce in profound business processes, is presented in the theoretical part of this paper.

The thesis is divided into five chapters whereas chapter one is an introduction and chapter five offers conclusion and prospect. The second chapter is supposed to give the reader an understanding of the subject area of Social Media and present today´s basic applications and services as well as briefly outline their workings. The third chapter deals with the definition of Social Commerce. In doing so the theoretical and practical interpretation of the topic are examined in order to find a definition as all-inclusive as possible.

Eventually in chapter four concrete Social Media implementations and services which are adequate to positively influence buying decisions in E-Commerce and to create customer-loyalty though additional value in the area of communication and cooperation are presented, based on the insights of the previous chapters. At that successful realizations from real life are presented as an illustration and a conclusion is given for each example focusing on the effort and use for the business, strengths and weaknesses of the implementation or the service as well as the created additional value of Social Commerce for the customer.

Rise of Social Commerce: A Trail Guide for the Social Commerce Pioneer: Lora Cecere


View more documents from lora cecere.

View more presentations from lora cecere.

Key Takeaways

  • Definition “Social commerce is the use of social technologies to connect, listen, understand, and engage to improve the shopping experience”
    • NB – broader than traditional definitions as it encompasses in social technologies used to inform in-store shopping as well as e-commerce
  • Social commerce is not a destination, it’s a journey through four stages of increasing sophistication –  “Let’s Be Social”, to “Enlightened Engagement”, “The Store of the Community”,“Frictionless Commerce”, and requires pioneers to lead organizations on the journey
  • Empowering consumer technology, the rise of the social web, eroded trust in brands and a deep recession have set the stage for the emergence of social commerce – smart shopping informed by friends and communities
  • 86% of retailers/brand manufacturers surveyed plan to have a social commerce strategy in place by 2011
  • 90% of companies surveyed will increase funding for social commerce initiatives in 2011.
  • Social commerce will evolve in symbiosis with mobile commerce – m-commerce, as mobile becomes the leading platform for social technology
  • Social technology is changing shopper expectations – who increasingly expect to connect with each other, with brands and retailers

Consumer Shopping Experiences, Preferences, and Behaviors: ATG

In this October 2010 report, ATG find that social commerce – using social technology to inform shopping – is most established in the 18-34yr old group

  • 32% said they “like” merchants on Facebook
  • 18% look for coupons or special offers
  • 16% interact with their friends about products they “like” or plan to buy
  • 12% said they interact with other consumers that “like” or use the same products or services
  • 6% post images or reviews of products
  • 5% use Facebook for their customer service needs
  • 5% post messages to a merchant’s Facebook fan page about products

Even beyond product discovery, consumers between the ages of 18 and 34 are adopting social media into their overall commerce activities. Half of consumers in this younger age group are using their social networks as a trusted resource, seeking advice and learning about the experiences of other consumers for items they are interested in purchasing.

The ATG report notes that in’s annual “State of Retailing Online” survey of merchants, 28% of retailers reported that social commerce had helped them grow their business, but few had a system for measuring sales from social media involvement.

Though a large majority of consumers are still not looking for merchants to engage in social channels, we are starting to see signs of a shift — 57% of consumers age 18-34 express that it is at least “somewhat important” that merchants provide an opportunity to interact on social networks.