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How social commerce is empowering local businesses

Consumers and local merchants have portrayed a great inclination to use online platforms as a method of research about new trends with fewer interruptions, allowing them to fully utilize features like autofill payments, parcel delivery services, and many more such options.

September 17, 2021 10:22 IST | India Infoline News Service
In the modern-day era of digitization, E-commerce is on an all-time high growth trajectory. People’s shopping and content consumption preferences, over the years, have evolved with the internet and social media anchoring the change. Thus, social commerce is expected to play a very significant role in the way retail and e-commerce would change in years to come.

Consumers and local merchants have portrayed a great inclination to use online platforms as a method of research about new trends with fewer interruptions, allowing them to fully utilize features like autofill payments, parcel delivery services, and many more such options. E-commerce and social commerce are undoubtedly the one-stop-solution for all the needs met at fingertip.

One of the remarkable features of startups providing such solutions is a quick and direct interaction between the buyers and sellers, which also helps in establishing faith both ways. There are brands that also do not give way to re-sellers, thus giving the authenticity of all the products sold on the platform. Moreover, unlike offline shopping, social commerce provides options for “personalization and easy discovery of products” along with adequate information where the consumers can have all their queries answered directly by the seller of the product or service.

Furthermore, social commerce is evolving as a new communication and marketing channel for small and mid-sized businesses, as it allows efficient online product and service discovery and easier conversation with the brands. But here comes the big question, ‘What will be the impact of social commerce on the local Brick-and-Mortar Retailers?’ Sustained and healthy growth of local merchants is essential since it is difficult to imagine a rising overall living standard without such development.

However, if local businesses and garage-born start-ups aim at being the talk of the town, an establishment on the E-commerce platforms is inevitable. This will not only cater to them in increasing their chances of interacting with a much-defined target audience and also help them in ascertaining which unique product has high demand in the market.

Amidst the growing popularity of online shopping, local businesses need to build up their e-commerce channels and web presence. In between the digital divide, many social commerce players are helping small businesses to gain social commerce insights, brand development, and enabling them to create their business strategies to shift from in-store sales to online deliveries.

In a rising sea of online product consumption, it is equally necessary to empower the bottom of the pyramid. For sustainable business and economic growth, the onus lies in the online market places to enable the small enterprises in showcasing their products and services over multiple platforms, allowing them to connect with a wider audience.

It is very obvious that the consumer behavior surrounding commerce and social commerce has evolved rapidly and will continue to do so. This will ultimately result in the evolvement of new wealth, data, trends, information, and opportunities. It will also give the sellers a much clearer insight into their existing and potential customers. This factor is extremely vital for small merchants whose major profits depend on the physical footfall.

Digital media and online listings have changed the scenario for the local merchants now, as they can include a plethora of options for a smooth shopping journey for their customers throughout the buying cycle. For example, it will enable users to shop instantly through AI-driven, brand tagged, user-generated content

As Covid-19 gripped the world under its venomous bite, the digital breakthrough dynamically changed the online retail space. Due to frequent lockdowns, there is a massive spike in the usage of social commerce platforms.

Smaller companies had to cope up with shutting down their business operations all at once. In the case of essential openings, there were limited manpower and operational sources. The situation acted as a boon for social commerce industries and hence, there was an escalation in the functioning of social commerce all over the world. Consequently, a host of small merchants decided to claim and enhance their online business listing.

In contemporary times, it doesn’t matter whether an entity is a garage-born start-up or a global brand as E-commerce and social commerce have become increasingly accustomed to building an online community by providing all products and services hassle free.

The author of this article is Mrs.Lakshmi Prabhala, Founder, LMO

The views and opinions expressed are not of IIFL Securities, indiainfoline.com

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