Narratives Brands and Consumers Create About Social Commerce

E-commerce and social media have exploded in popularity since the beginning of the 21st century, each drastically changing the virtual landscape. E-commerce has revolutionized the shopping experience allowing people to shop in their pajamas while social media has transformed interpersonal communication.

E-commerce encompasses all online shopping conducted through retail websites, mobile sites, and online marketplaces. Researchers estimate that there will be 1.92 billion digital buyers worldwide by the end of 2019.

Social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn, and Reddit, foster the creation of communities and offer opportunities for global networking. Users in the United States spend, on average, more than an hour each day on social media.

The synergy of e-commerce and social media has created a unique opportunity to leverage social platforms to build brand recognition, encourage sales, increase engagement with buyers, and provide instant customer service.

This list was created to explore the relationship between social media and e-commerce—often dubbed as social commerce. Research conducted in this list will attempt to illustrate how brand narratives created by social commerce companies compare to customer narratives about those same brands.

#1 Relationships created by consumer-brand identification

Consumer interactions on social media with brands often shape customer narratives about companies. This study underscores the idea that consumers many times articulate their own identities through a brand narrative. When comparing social commerce brand narratives to customer narratives about those same brands, marketers should consider that time and again those narratives will align. That’s often because companies help shoppers define their personal identities through brand stories shared online, via social media, and through social commerce. The authors state that as consumers identify with a brand, they also develop trust and loyalty.

#2 Social media enables marketers to build brand trust

Social media is a platform that enables brand marketers to build communities of brand admirers. These brand communities do not have geographic boundaries and allow marketers to build trust with customers across the world. This piece explains how trust is an integral part of sustaining a successful brand and allows brands to drive the narratives among consumers.

#3 Consumer engagement in an online brand community

This research takes a deeper dive into online brand communities, featuring examples from an array of industries including sports (Adidas and Nike), fashion (Mango, Stradivarius and Zara), and technology (Apple, Samsung and Sony). As in the previous articles, the authors stress the importance of engagement, experience, and trust in building an online brand community. All of these help align brand narratives with customer narratives about those same companies. The authors found that using the community mainly for commercial purposes has a negative effect.

#4 Does brand community matter?

This journal introduces a construct called “Brand-Consumer Social Sharing Value”, which tries to give a value on a pre-defined scale to the consumer’s online social gratifications with a specific brand. The journal also explores and tries to define why consumers wish to join a brand community or become an unofficial brand ambassador. Mostly, it is due to the gratitude and satisfaction of the consumer. Finally it proposes different strategies companies can use to foster a larger brand community.

#5 Social media can heavily influence purchase intentions

Recognizing the influence of social media in relation to e-commerce, this study examines how social media interactions affect the website visit and purchase intentions of users. The social impact theory sets the stage as authors of this article explore the role of social media in the e-commerce realm and how social media can be used to enhance the e-commerce experience.

#6 E-Commerce x Social Media = Social Commerce

This article from 2010, provides insight into the history of the intersection between social media and e-commerce. The author includes a Facebook e-commerce case study and offers a concept she calls the triad of socioeconomic life, that models the interrelationships between e-commerce, social media and web technologies.

#7 Use social media in the marketing funnel to turn “like” to “buy”

This corporate perspective piece analyzes consumer behavior associated with social media, the history of e-commerce, and articulates potential impacts of social commerce. The authors created a social media-centric marketing funnel and offered considerations for businesses looking to leverage social media to boost website traffic and e-commerce sales.

#8 Refine a social commerce strategy with further research

This article provides a framework to be used in social commerce research. The framework is specifically focused on defining research scope and identifying questions or issues related to social commerce. Classification elements encompassed in the framework intend to create a solid foundation for future research in the social commerce realm. Elements include research theme, social media, commercial activities, underlying theories, outcomes and research methods.

#9 Does social belong to marketing or sales?

This article focuses on leveraging social media interaction and conversations to forward the sales process. The authors discuss the impacts of placing social media responsibilities within an organization’s marketing or sales department, and how this decision affects social media strategy. Discussion mentions the role of salespeople in the social media landscape and how companies can integrate social media to gain a sales advantage over competitors.

#10 Social commerce constructs and consumer’s intention to buy

This 2014 article drills down how shoppers use social commerce to create online content, have interactions with other consumers, and of course, to purchase items. According to the authors, all of these actions can lead to an increased level of trust and intention to buy among consumers. Trust and intention to buy will create customer narratives that often mirror brand narratives.

#11 Social commerce: A contingency framework for assessing marketing

This article attempts to provide a clear definition of social commerce. According to the authors, social commerce has two essential parts: exchange-related activities (for example, transactions) and consumer-related activities (for example, making a purchase after reading a review). Social commerce has evolved since the publication of this piece into an activity that is less individualistic and more engaging.

#12 Is measuring consumer emotion the best way to make sales?

The use of sentiment analysis is becoming increasingly popular for companies that regularly interact with the public on social media. The study presented in this article aims to prove that measuring user emotions is more effective that crunching metrics and can better inform the strategies of marketing and communications professionals.

#13 The Status Report of Social Media in 2019

Digital consumers are now spending an average of almost 2 ½ hrs each day on social networks and messaging. Specialized social platforms can play a role in the purchasing journey. Over a third of internet users follow their favorite brands on social media.

#14 How can companies empower online brand communities?

The study explored whether engaging with users have an effect on brand communities. The results show that the more company replies there are, the more positive the reaction from the community. Longer replies also garner more positive community responses. However, most tweets are neutral in tone, usually asking for more information. Therefore, companies should carefully monitor tweets and quickly respond if there are a growing number of negative messages.

#15 A Model of The Behavior of A Social Commerce Buyer

Social commerce is the purchasing of goods influenced by a person’s online social network. This journal tries to model consumer behavior from a social commerce point of view. The researchers developed a framework that tries to diagram a consumer’s purchasing behavior starting from before they purchase, moving towards the purchase act and finally to the decisions made after the purchase.

#16 How do brand communities generate brand relationship?

Consumers who identify with a brand are more likely to be committed to it. Consumers who are in a group dedicated to the brand will be more likely to identify with the brand and form attachment to it. However, consumers still need an emotional attachment to the brand in order to be committed to it. Just joining a community does not guarantee brand loyalty.

#17 Creating shared value between buyers and brands

This article works to dissect the concept of co-creation, or an economics-driven strategy that utilizes direct collaboration between companies and customers in order to create a product possessing mutual value for both parties. The results of the featured study on a Taiwanese taxi company asserts that successful co-creation allows for stronger brand awareness on social media platforms as well as user service quality.

#18 Consumers’ purchasing behaviors can be directly affected by tone

Companies have a decision to make when interacting with consumers online: do they take a personable, more relaxed tone or a cold yet professional, corporate approach? The study within this article breaks down the impact of a company’s tone on social media and boasts surprising results that prove that customers are not always swayed by a conversational inflection.

#19 Companies can benefit from studying buyer posting habits

Some individuals using photo-sharing apps such as Snapchat or Instagram choose to post pictures to their followers of new products they’ve recently purchased. This article breaks down how self-presenting on social media can impact a person’s esteem, overall happiness with their purchase, and more.

#20 Personality traits guide how/if customers leave product reviews

This piece doubles-down on the idea that consumers may be pre-disposed to carry out certain commentary behaviors, particularly related to products and experiences, based on their innate personality traits.


Author: Morgan

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *