• Social commerce is a brand-new shopping experience that is all about inspiration and product discovery, but entrepreneurs and retailers are anxious to transform that interest at the "top-of-the-funnel," into sales.
  • Retargeted advertising may be one missing link. It enables social commerce to connect the sales funnel from end to end by serving ads that remind users of products they have browsed across the Web but not yet purchased. So far, only Facebook has developed this capability.
  • Another solution is for social commerce to develop as a sales referral engine, and take a cut of the sales. If social commerce sites have a large enough audience, even a low referral and conversion rate will result in a good revenue stream.
  • Social commerce will only succeed if they move below the very top-of-funnel layer, which is where consumers go for ideas, recommendations and inspiration, not to buy. In this report, we focus on three social commerce companies that are trying to do this.

This report is best read alongside our May 2013 social commerce report »

Executive Summary: Social Commerce Is Going After The Entire Purchase Funnel

bii social commerce sales 1BI IntelligenceIf social commerce is ever going to fulfill its ambitions, it must go after all parts of the consumer purchase funnel.

It is short sighted to view social commerce as simply transactional — as if it were all about nudging a consumer to purchase a product on a social platform like Facebook.

As social commerce matures, companies are going after different stages of the funnel. They're realizing that the key to social media-powered commerce isn't about a click-to-buy button, but about understanding how to translate social commerce's strengths in product discovery and digital window-shopping into a clear value proposition.

The classic funnel might be divided into three main stages: consumers discover new products, then form an opinion, and finally move on to the purchase stage. We spoke to three leaders in the social commerce space to understand how their companies are adding value at different stages of the retail and e-commerce sales funnel.

Top-Of-Funnel: Social Commerce Beyond Pinterest

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