SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Social Media — tracks feedback from leading marketers about social media practices and issues.

This week, we asked: Have you ever bought something through a social platform?

  • No: 87.32%
  • Yes: 12.68%

This will be my fourth holiday season editing SmartBrief on Social Media. And every year at about this time, I start to see articles proclaiming that “20XX will be the year of social commerce!” But as the year wears on, it becomes apparent that the revolution isn’t quite ready to take hold. And as this poll shows, even SmartBrief on Social Media readers have yet to embrace buying stuff through social networks.

Many retailers have demonstrated that they’re interested in selling via social. I think what’s holding consumers back is that the networks themselves have yet to get on board in a meaningful way. Facebook’s Gifts feature is a big step in the right direction, but a lot friction needs to be removed from the buying process for social selling to reach its full potential.

For those of you have bought something through a social network, I’ve got a few questions.

What was your social buying experience like? How could networks and retailers make it simpler and/or more enticing to shop via social? What kinds of products do you think lend themselves best to social commerce?

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