One of the most powerful growth factors in the world of e-commerce has been the Web 2.0 integrations of the “community” aspect. Community refers to a sense of user loyalty where people are physically and emotionally engaged in the website’s experience. This is why social networking sites are so popular. From the perspective of online marketing and sales, the addition of the community further enhances the user experince allowing them to contribute content, provide feedback, give ratings to products and services, blog, contribute to forums, etc.
An e-commerce portal itself is by definition a community becuase people are emotionally and financially invested in the experience (so to speak). As Web 2.0 has taken over the Internet marketing and online media world, sites that offer user interaction and user generated content have redefined the idea of “community”.
Most successful e-commerce platforms now offer blogs, forums, and customer rating systems so people can interact in the online marketplace, learn from one another, and gain valuable knowledge. When properly integrated, the community aspect to the e-commerce platform will engage users more, keep them coming back, and increase sales.
There are many great e-commerce software platforms out there that can be easily integrated with many of the social platforms. All of these pieces need to work in synergy with one another to achieve the best results.