Connecta 21 recap: social commerce and social selling

Connecta Bern 2021 Connecta 21 recap: social commerce and social selling

Published on 10.11.2021 by Stephan Lamprecht, journalist

At an event dealing with digitization, current trends in digital marketing and retail have to be discussed in simple terms. Naturally, topics like social commerce, social selling and influencer marketing are given lots of attention.

Held entirely digitally once again this year, Connecta is something of a symbol for a worldwide trend. Because when people cannot come together physically, they must find another way. A challenge that countless retail companies faced during lockdown. So at Connecta, a lot was said about social selling, live video, influencer marketing and social media.

What is (and isn’t) social selling

To make correct use of social selling, companies should first understand what it is not. A cold call is no better received by the recipient because it takes place on a social network. This is explained by Thomas Hutter, CEO of Hutter Consult Ltd. in his Connecta Talk and also outlines classic mistakes from which companies can learn.

Based on his own experiences, he believes that it depends on building real relationships – and this is the “social” component in the sales process. And what is the point here? He also presents examples of best practice in an article.

Fascinating insights into the “new retail” in China

During lockdown, companies faced the challenge of continuing to be there for their customers. As a result, some retail companies began to explore the topic of video consultations so as to remain available live to customers. As Simon den Otter, Business Manager at Brandspot.Digital, explains in his article, this is a trend that was emerging in this country even before the pandemic. But there is a lot more to it than simply making a virtue out of a necessity. Retailers can emphasise their proximity to customers, and not only for products requiring explaining. Consultancy by video offers many advantages and should become a permanent facility.

The greatest role model here is China, where there is less distinction between e-commerce, offline, online or social commerce. In her Connecta Talk, Ashley Galina Dudarenok, popular expert in marketing in China and best-selling author, offers a fascinating insight into the many different formats of “new retail”. The trend there is already much more advanced.

Alongside social media platforms, more and more retailers in China are themselves operating as platforms which are visited by customers not only for shopping but also for entertainment. And we encounter “social selling” in different forms there, for example as group purchases made by neighbourhoods or platforms that ensure cheaper purchases through the “currency” of product recommendations. This is how some influencers from video commerce in China have become veritable stars, also developing and marketing their own products.

How companies can better collaborate with influencers

On social platforms, these influencers take on an important and guiding role. This makes them interesting for brand manufacturers and retail companies. Which trends exist in influencer marketing? This question is answered in a Connecta Talk by Naomi Meran, CEO and Co-Founder of Meetmaker. In her talk, she also confirms that video formats are becoming more and more established, and not only as recorded “stories” but especially in live formats. How can companies best approach influencers and how can they spread their own message through these channels? The expert also has a fitting answer to this.

TikTok: a platform on the up and up

The TikTok platform from China, which is already enjoying enormous popularity with young people, is really on the up and up. The growth in numbers of users is leaving networks like Facebook and Instagram looking outdated. TikTok has thus succeeded much more quickly in exceeding the magic benchmark of 1 billion active users. Dominic Stöcklin, Social Media Manager for Switzerland Tourism, gives an interesting insight into the activities of Switzerland Tourism on this channel. This much is clear: engagement on TikTok works.

Anyone can do social media!

In view of the opportunities offered by activities on social platforms, there is no reason to hesitate. At the very least, a relevant profile on the various channels has become a must for retailers. Prof. Martina Dalla Vecchia and Cécile Zachlod, both from FHNW, firmly agree. And in their article, they also offer specific tips for the best way to proceed.


Due to the current situation, Connecta Bern was once again held as a digital event in 2021. Connecta is renowned for shining a light on the diverse nature of digitization and this year was no different, with content presented across the three formats of Connecta Blog, Connecta TV and Connecta Talk. Find out more here:


Stephan Lamprecht, journalist

Stephan Lamprecht has been following e-commerce developments in Germany, Austria and Switzerland for two decades as a journalist and consultant.

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