In the future, the number of contracts between buyers and sellers concluded on Facebook will increase. In the near future, sales through Facebook are even predicted to surpass those through Amazon.
This is according to Nerushka Deosaran, associate at Norton Rose SA, an international law firm.
Speaking at ITWeb’s Social Media Summit, Deosaran said social media is changing the commercial landscape. She also predicted that social commerce will be the next trend to follow e-commerce.
According to Deosaran, social commerce is the conducting of business over social media networks. This includes using social networks to trade, for advertising and marketing, to offer promotions and competitions, as well as accumulating likes and followers on Facebook and Twitter, respectively.
Speaking about the emergence of social commerce, Deosaran said a number of initiatives have experienced success, including one by Starbucks, which let Facebook users send e-gift cards to their friends; as well as those by David Guetta and Justin Bieber, who released albums on Facebook.
She adds that social networks also give marketers easy access to consumers, as well as a channel for instant communication with them.
Deosaran also pointed out that there are no specific laws that govern social commerce yet. However, according to her, the usual rules apply, such as the advertising code, the Consumer Protection Act, and the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act (ECTA).
According to Deosaran, complying with the advertising code means businesses conducting social commerce must make sure their adverts are honest and not offensive. She added that privacy laws in the advertising code are particularly pertinent to social commerce, given how easy it is to access photos on social networks like Facebook.
For example, Deosaran said, adverts should not portray living people in any form, unless their express permission is given beforehand. She added that this also applies for competition winners.
Deosaran said the CPA affects social commerce, too, making it vital that businesses include terms and conditions when they make offers or run promotions on social media networks. She added that the terms and conditions should be stated in plain language and should also be easily accessible – via a link, for example.
In terms of the ECTA, Deosaran said companies concluding contracts over social media platforms must abide by certain rules, including always giving customers the option to go back, and making the default option for concluding the contract “cancel” and not “OK”.
This post was originally appeared on ‘ITWeb’
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