13 Terms to Better Your Understanding of Social Commerce

First Media presents a glossary of social commerce terms to help you learn and hone your marketing vocabulary about this important aspect of marketing.

Social commerce is becoming more critical in marketing. As brands continue to see the potential in social commerce, more e-commerce companies are looking to incorporate it into their marketing tactics. Explore the most important social commerce terms to become a master of the strategy.

Social Commerce

Definition: Social commerce is the meeting point between social media and e-commerce. E-commerce brands use social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, etc.) for advertising and selling their products or services to audience members, often entirely through the app.

Example: You partner with First Media to advertise a new product line. We then develop organic social, paid advertising, and shoppable content that drives purchases from each post viewers see on their social feeds.


Definition: In social commerce, a storefront is an e-commerce store found on a social media platform rather than a brick-and-mortar storefront.

Example: Your Instagram page markets your products to viewers. When they see a piece of content they are intrigued by, they can click on that to head to your profile. Your storefront is the page linked to your profile that customers visit to purchase products.

Social Commerce Platforms

Definition: Social media sites used for e-commerce purchasing are known as social commerce platforms. If a social media app lets e-commerce brands integrate a virtual storefront, it is an e-commerce platform.

Example: Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, TikTok, Snapchat, Pinterest, Twitch, and Twitter are all social commerce platforms.


Definition: Shoppable refers to shoppable content or media that users engage with to find a product or service and make a purchase. Shoppable content is an essential part of social commerce. It offers the simplest way for users to become customers by simplifying the pathway to purchase through a post.

Example: Shoppable content includes social media posts (images, videos, live streams, ads, etc.) and other forms of content such as television and out-of-home marketing. For example, First Media’s omnichannel approach utilizes social media and television advertising campaigns, as well as geo-targeted campaigns with embedded QR codes for users to click on and purchase from.

Social Media Marketing

Definition: Social media marketing is any use of social media to advertise products. In social commerce, social media marketing is non-negotiable.

Example: You run a TikTok campaign for a new product, creating ads to post on your page and partnering with influencers to promote your product. Audiences see those posts and click through to your page to learn more about your brand.

Social Shopping

Definition: Social shopping is another way to describe social commerce. Sometimes, people use the phrase “social shopping” to call out the importance of community and peers in the social commerce experience.

Example: When users are scrolling on a social media platform, they come across posts from their friends about a new favorite product. Social shopping refers to that interaction – seeing a post from a peer that inspires purchase.

Influencer Marketing

Definition: Social commerce relies on social interaction, whether with peers or influencers. In influencer marketing, brands collaborate with influencers – people with a certain level of social influence and followers on a platform – to promote their products.

Example: First Media’s 360° Shoppable Walmart Campaign used influencer marketing to encourage action and purchase from viewers. Influencers from a custom television program created for our brand, So Yummy, created custom content they displayed on their pages to drive viewers to product pages and purchase decisions.

User-Generated Content

Definition: Any content made by an individual is considered user-generated content (UGC). In social commerce, UGC helps you promote your brand for free by relying on current customers to post to their friends about products they like.

Example: Your new customer posts about your brand on their Pinterest page. Their followers see the post, inspiring them to head to your page and check out other products.

Social Proof

Definition: Social proof is a phenomenon in which people tend to follow or copy their peers’ behavior in certain situations.

Example: When a potential customer views one or more pieces of content from influencers or friends promoting or discussing your product, they may be more likely to purchase it.

E-commerce Platform

Definition: E-commerce platforms generally refer to the websites created to support online retailers in selling their products or services. These platforms help e-commerce brands manage products, navigate purchases and returns, and communicate with users.

Example: Amazon, Shopify, eBay, BigCommerce, Wix, and Squarespace are some of the biggest e-commerce platforms used today.

Social Channels

Definition: Social channels are also known as social media channels, social media platforms, social networks, and social apps. They are the online channels that support content like images, videos, stories, live streams, and user text posts.

Example: Popular social channels include TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Twitch, Snapchat, etc.

Customer Experience

Definition: Customer experience is one of the most important facets of social commerce – and one of the reasons why it is such an impactful marketing path. The customer experience is the interaction, response, and engagement between customers and your brand throughout their journey.

Example: Every touch point in the marketing funnel, from awareness to advocacy, impacts the customer experience. For example, a customer finds your brand’s page via a shoppable post made by an influencer. Then, they click on your product page, visit your site, and purchase something. All the interactions with your brand, from viewing the post to clicking on a product tag and all the ordering steps, create their customer experience.

Live Shopping

Definition: Live shopping is when users view and buy products in real time via livestreaming videos.

Example: An influencer hosts a live stream and promotes your products during the video. Users watch the live stream, comment and interact with the influencer, and click on links to promoted products that direct them to your page.

Social Commerce Solutions and Marketing Strategies

Capitalizing on the power of social commerce is possible with an understanding of best practices in an evolving landscape. Learn more about social commerce solutions, marketing basics, and high-quality digital advertising with First Media.