Social media users hooked onto networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter are set to give a big boost to the already burgeoning domestic e-commerce market that touched the Rs 50,000 crore-mark last year.
India, with an online population of 150 million, is the third largest in terms of Internet users after China and the US, a study by Internet & Mobile Association of India has found. Of this, 50 million are on Facebook and 13 million on Twitter, taking the size of social media universe to 63 million. Internet on mobileThis also makes the country the second-largest Facebook market after the US, while the sixth-largest for Twitter, said Amrish Rau, general manager, ICICI Merchant Services and First Data. Most of these social media members are also actively taking up e-commerce transactions, he added.
“Social e-commerce is the next step in evolution, combining the comfort and ease of use of social media and e-tailing,” said Rau.
Social commerce continues to gain popularity around the globe, especially in the US, with the rising popularity of e-gifting, under which users send tangible gifts to their loved ones from retailers through Facebook and email, he added.
Explaining the plus points of e-gifting, Rau said since social networking sites are accessible on cellphones, it is easy for both individuals as well as organisations to expand their e-commerce strategy into the social commerce realm.
Moreover, social e-commerce improves online shopping by offering product suggestions from people personally known by users. For example, when a user shops for a cellphone or any other electronic gadget on a traditional e-commerce site like eBay, Flipkart and others, the user gets to see ratings and reviews by previous buyers.
For retailers, it enables them to engage with their buyers on a personal level, thereby obtaining perception and views in an easier manner.