Every 30 seconds, global e-commerce industry generates over $1.2 million revenue with Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter contributing $5,483, $4,504 and $4,308 respectively, according to an ASSOCHAM-Deloitte joint study.
The study found that social networks are contributing significantly to the growth of e-commerce business revenue.
The maturity of social media and its reach across masses and classes makes it a suitable platform for online sales. Social media pages provide information regarding new products in the market, user reviews and ratings of the product, recommendations and information technology products.
D S Rawat, secretary general of ASSOCHAM said social media also helps e-tailers to build brand awareness by responding to customer queries. Seasonal sales and offers are displayed in social networks to reach maximum number of people. E-tailers have even started to motivate customers with reward points to provide feedback on the product on social networks, he said.
The study found that prospective customers also interact with users of the product or service on social networks before making the purchase.
According to analysts, product reviews and ratings, as well as product recommendations, were the most popular social commerce features integrated into leading e-commerce sites as of August 2013. Increasingly social networks have direct links to e-commerce sites, which provide complete product description, availability status, pricing and delivery information, and access to product reviews and ratings, all of which help prospective buyers to make a purchase.
The social media provides a platform for e-tailers to engage with customers for: advertisement, building brand awareness, developing a community of trusted user, spreading word of mouth and customer feedback.
Payment gateways help the e-tailers to receive money instantly rather than waiting for the CoD payments, thus reducing chances of theft and fraud. The retailers are slowly moving towards payment gateways for improving security and dealing with other complexities which arise with financial transactions. The banks as well as the e-tailers are offering different offers like cashback and equated monthly installment (EMI) to encourage customers for card-based payments. Startups like Paytm and FreeCharge are providing mobile wallets while almost every commercial bank is providing the option to pay online via credit or debit card.
The availability of e-commerce applications on various mobile devices is helping to drive sales and revenue. E-tailers like Flipkart, Amazon and Jabong now get 50 per cent of their revenues from consumers shopping on their mobile phones. The study found that predictive analytics is helping the e-tailers to provide better solutions in real-time enabling compelling user experience even on mobile screens.