Why ecommerce hasn't taken off on social media – CIO

Shopping is still not common on social media, and social sites are unlikely to become major destinations for buying any time soon. Social media has clear potential for facilitating purchases, but the major platforms haven’t invested seriously in shopping, and users don’t seem particularly interested in spending on social networks, according to analysts.

Social media intersects with commerce to varying degrees on certain sites and at various stages of the purchase process, but users today simply don’t finalize purchases on social sites, according to Jessica Liu, a senior analyst with Forrester Research. The firm mapped the customer life cycle into six stages, and the buy stage is the least active on social, she says.

“Users are much more likely to discover and explore brands, products or services on social media than they are to buy,” Liu says. “Social networks and brands have a long hill to climb before users become accustomed to transacting directly on social media.” 

[Related: Facebook now lets you order dinner and buy movie tickets]

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