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The impact of social commerce and online shopping

Today’s society depends heavily on online commerce, mostly for convenience. However, consumers lose the advantages of in-person shopping, like receiving advice from a sales representative and the possibility of trying on items.

Social commerce is a subcategory of electronic commerce that attempts to personalize the online shopping experience. It combines social media and social interaction to influence online purchases. Companies engage customers by providing access to exchange-related activities like collaborative shopping tools and consumer reviews to help consumer decisions. Social commerce clearly influences online consumer behavior and activity, but researchers know very little about the platform design requirements and application features that will make them more user-friendly.

Designing the next generation of social commerce platforms

Professor BenyoucefProfessor Morad Benyoucef from the Telfer School of Management proposes an innovative approach to improve social commerce. He has received a Discovery grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. In his proposal, he stresses the importance of considering the different features of social commerce and the stages of the consumer decision-making process to achieve a plug-and-play design quality of social commerce platforms and applications. Applying such design to social commerce platforms and applications will meet the dynamic requirements of online consumers. His comprehensive framework provides a solid basis for future social commerce research, with novel assessment tools to test platform and application design.

Improving the online shopping experience for all

In practice, social commerce should enhance the consumer online shopping experience. Benyoucef’s work will guide designers to improve the usability of websites and applications and allow Canadian e-commerce companies to understand their customers and their needs. Social commerce offers companies a great opportunity to transform their electronic commerce websites into interactive communities that help promote their brands, products and services


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