Distributed Commerce Definition

What is distributed commerce?

Distributed commerce is when potential customers have the ability to purchase products as they discover them on social media platforms or within existing ecommerce content. An example of this is enabling customers to purchase products directly on Instagram as an extension of a brand’s ecommerce strategy.  With this approach, customers can buy what they see without having to leave the platform or page where they were browsing. The advantage of distributed commerce is that it reduces friction and increases sales by making it as convenient as possible for the customer to purchase a product.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are examples of distributed commerce?

    Today, the most popular examples of distributed commerce are the ‘buy now’ and ‘shop this look’ options. With these links in place, consumers can buy directly from the product content they’re interacting with, all without having to visit another page, window, or tab. What this means is, consumers are more likely to make a purchase on a whim right from their smartphone, which helps raise your retention.

  • What are the benefits of distributed commerce?

    The benefits of distributed commerce are varied, but they apply to consumers and ecommerce businesses alike. Shoppers have to make fewer clicks before they buy, which translates to higher sales for that particular retailer. On top of empowering customers to purchase at the point of inspiration, distributed commerce also streamlines the path to purchase on a mobile device. 

    With a distributed commerce strategy, retailers can connect directly with their customers by partnering with the likes of YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest — meaning shoppers have the opportunity to purchase from whichever social media channel they’re already using.

  • Is distributed commerce effective?

    Distributed commerce is incredibly effective for product-based brands (especially new businesses or startups trying to break on the scene), since it simplifies online shopping and makes checkout a breeze. Instead of introducing incremental steps that can cause customers to abandon their shopping cart, distributed commerce allows for quick, convenient purchases from your mobile phone. This translates to greater revenue and improved customer satisfaction, since the entire commerce experience becomes less time-consuming and more accessible.