Home Evolution of Direct Selling from E-commerce to Social Commerce

Evolution of Direct Selling from E-commerce to Social Commerce

Well, it’s been a long time since we’ve been exposed to the influence of technology on our daily routines. Does the idea of conquering the unimaginable with this potent and resounding force of transformation strike you as an intriguing possibility?

Should that be the case, then, in what manner do the shifts occurring within the technological framework directly connect us? How has it embraced a new wave of behavioral changes in us?

The changing facet of technology has made the world a smaller place to live in. Imagine you are a digital traveler who leverages technology to take your followers to every site you navigate. This makes your followers connect with the outside world easily without leaving the comfort of their homes. This is what trending technology is all about.

Let’s talk about e-commerce here.

Buying and selling things of value is an activity familiar to us since time immemorial. But with the advent of technology, the innovative side of businesses has renovated its world by incorporating e-commerce.

Electronic commerce (e-commerce) is one fascinating side of the internet that helps companies connect with customers worldwide and earn more profits. So when businesses look around, they get a whole 360-degree cover of the entire population.

Picture the scene: after setting up your profile eagerly, you made the first digital footprint. Like personal profiles, businesses also furnish their e-commerce landscape to enhance online visibility.

What does this online presence mean to direct selling businesses? This is what we are talking about. MLM companies yield productive results with their online presence through efficient management of the commission, advanced customer support and a secure payment system, among many others.

Click, Shop, Smile

Most of us have evolved from carrying heavy bags after shopping and panting until we reach home. And this could be a moment where you think how easy it would be if e-commerce had existed then. Since time has no end, so is the beginning of the e-commerce business.

This online store has revealed its usefulness, ranging from MLM start-ups to enterprises. With unlimited offerings, the e-commerce ecosystem consistently matures and advances so that your direct sales can access all the latest technologies for streamlining your business.

These features include,

  • robust reporting and analytics feature
  • marketing automation and lead generation
  • cross-selling/upselling feature to increase Average Order Value (AOV)
  • product reviews and ratings
  • replicated website
  • repurchase and auto-ship

Embrace this opportunity to leverage technology and revolutionize your customer’s shopping experience, but remember everything is at your fingertips!

Will MLM companies stop with e-commerce alone? Hey there, you belong to a tech-savvy generation, stopping technology with one or two outcomes doesn’t deliver justice.

Let’s take an instance. Imagine starting a small restaurant with a hospitable ambiance, modern infrastructure, the best chefs, quality foods, and excellent customer service. Within no time, you can expect an exponential rise in customers. After witnessing this shift, won’t you rebuild the interiors for more accommodation?

Likewise, e-commerce has extended its zone to welcome social selling for building a rapport with potential customers. When e-commerce emerged as a business model, social selling became the strategy MLM companies adopted to leverage the power of social media.

Some social selling!

What’s not it?

Social selling is not advertising, which people tend to avoid. It is also not about blasting people with special offers and links that navigate to your website, nor is it about bombarding people’s inboxes with a plethora of commercial messages. This obviously annoys them to a limit to put your brand into the spam list.

Customers are not advertising tools to drive sales and earn profit.

Then what is it?

Direct selling companies understand how prospective customers conduct market research on potential vendors before choosing the right one. In order to provide customizable services, these companies have adopted tools to streamline customer needs and concerns and solve them efficiently with proven strategies even before they realize them.

“Social selling expands on the age-old basics of getting to know your customers and meeting their needs.” – Jon Ferrara, CEO, Nimble @Jon_Ferrara

This is social selling where you will engage your customers with real-time conversations, share important information, and treat them as people, not as sales targets.

Wherever a customer is, there is business. So when customers are online, and you pride yourself on being there where your customers are, then why aren’t you there?

Social selling is more like sitting in a coffee shop and having a healthy conversation with the opposite person. As network marketing has embraced social selling, distributors connect with prospects through social media instead of coffee shops. Sounds good, right?

As coffee beans exist in a variety of flavors, social networks also range from LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, or wherever you can find your prospects, form relationships, and build trust. Though the flavors differ, you will have the best sips!

So, what’s the result?

Now we know what’s the primary goal of social selling. It is not about making direct sales pitches and making potential customers overwhelmed or anxious. It is all about nurturing leads by providing valuable insights, addressing their concerns, and answering their questions. To develop this, network marketing uses various strategies to

  • Maintain a strong social presence
  • increase brand awareness
  • deliver a seamless experience through omnichannel publishing
  • enhance customer acquisition and retention
  • engage audiences with prompt responses to their queries
  • ensure customer satisfaction with personalized services

Social selling is synonymous with establishing trust and credibility. Direct networks create an online space for potential customers to consider their offerings, products or services when they are ready with a purchase decision.

In a nutshell, it’s all about getting a customer to know you without involving in any sales goal. With social selling, you can lead your potential customers to make informed decisions by generating more product awareness. This gradually builds up their trust in you.

“You can’t wait for customers to come to you. You have to figure out where they are, go there and bring them back to your store.” – Paul Graham, co-founder of startup accelerator Y Combinator @paulg.

Pause for a moment now. Remember migrating to a new place and having zero idea about the language and stores around? But with just an e-business platform your needs will be met. This is because both e-commerce and social selling crosses seven seas and seven mountains to reach and take you to the required online stores.

To Put it Together

Until now, we have touched on the concepts of e-commerce and social selling. But how shall we incorporate it into direct selling? Buckle up to witness the words following the evolution or should I call it, the revolution.

One way the direct selling model has updated itself with the changing times is to integrate itself with e-commerce and social selling. Let’s see what are the outcomes of doing so.

No. Outcomes E-commerce Social Selling
1. Marketing Strategies Distributors sell products directly to customers To promote a product or service, generate leads, and convert prospects into customers
2. Happy Customers Increased distributor loyalty, fosters customer loyalty Personalized customer experience through retargeting and real-life campaigns, personalized videos, social media quizzes, chatbots, etc.
3. Brand Identity Sharing user experiences, engaging customers and prospects, addressing queries and concerns Clear content publishing, focus on brand reviews, and real-time audience feedback.
4. Cost-Effectiveness Loyalty or reward programs, commissions, bonuses, and incentives. Social media as the marketing tool and creating a strong online presence
5. Secured Platform Compliance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS)  to secure and protect credit card data Mobile wallets or e-wallets with increased layers of security
6. Customer Support premium customer support features, live chat feature, multi-language and multi-currency Leveraging social media for customer support
7. Integrated Systems E-store, payment gateway integration, CRM integration Integrating with social media to include web links, automatic feeds, social community, blog content, videos, commenting systems, and social proofs

Is it time to stop reading? For now, no. Because the direct selling community hasn’t stopped with e-commerce and social selling.

Fasten your seat belts and carry your electronic cart; we are navigating toward social commerce.

Belonging to Team Gen Z

During a celebration, I happened to meet a distant cousin who has an aversion to social gatherings. But when I noticed her appearance, I felt I was amidst a fashion parade. Her attire was unique and breathtaking, with a crazy range of shades in a tropical-printed blazer. That day, she was the town’s center of attraction and talk. Even after years have passed since our encounter, I still remember her attire more than her face.

That very day, I heard someone whispering about how she purchases everything behind the screens to avoid talking to strangers in the stores.

My exhausted eyes could not invite sleep but started scrolling through every online store. And bang, I officially became a member of Gen Z.

Did you like my tale on the beginning of social commerce in my life? Weren’t you able to find the concept? If not, give it another story as the whole tale is social commerce, from how I rushed to various stores in different locations brimming with crowds to avail discounts on my purchases from the comfort of my home.

Visit TikTok, YouTube, and Facebook to enjoy your free time. While scrolling Instagram, I see how influencers endorse a brand with their products and services.

But when social commerce met direct sales, success strategies began to take a new turn, just like the point where an airplane takes off from land.

At this point, social commerce begins with multi-channel e-commerce, flexible commission calculations, online and onhand real-time inventory management, consistent logistics, and exceptional customer services. The end is a door to endless possibilities.

To wrap up, whether it is social commerce, social selling, or influencer marketing, the whole idea is to

  • Improve customer engagement with user-generated content as a sales tool after customers respond to surveys or share their opinions on the purchased products.
  • Make their shopping experience one of the best moments of their lives
  • Embrace omnichannel business strategies to reach customers worldwide and drive sales

Featured Image Credit: Karolina Grabowska; Pexels; Thank you! 

About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Sajin Rajan

Sajin Rajan, CMO at Epixel MLM Software is an enthusiastic business professional with 10+ years of experience in software development and business management. He has undertaken leadership to successfully develop and deliver customizable software for network marketing businesses. He always takes a good interest in upgrading his technical skills and updates more in Blockchain, IoT, AI, and related technologies. He is highly skilled in dealing with new business prospects and sharing the most advanced solutions.

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