The social commerce market has exploded to its current high of $1 billion US.  Yet social commerce is only 0.5% of the overall $200 billion US e-commerce market. The e-commerce market, in turn, represents just 7% of the total consumer market in the United States.

Experts believe social commerce – transactions driven by social activity – will to continue to grow throughout 2013. Industry analyst Neha Khera states in a 2012 report, “Overall, the social commerce market, while yet to provide significant measurable returns, is undoubtedly poised for growth, since all the players in its value chain are aligned. Consumers are drawn to social applications that make their commerce activity more informed and engaging.”

“Retailers are realizing the enormous upside of social recommendations in promoting their products. Entrepreneurs are innovating rapidly to develop unique experiences that combine “social” with shopping,Khera continued, adding, “Investors are betting on this market as being the next big thing―when an Amazon finally meets a Facebook.”

As a small business owner, you may already be using social media channels and possibly even ads, to influence the buying decisions of fans and followers. Social commerce apps can be incredibly helpful in this pursuit, as they add mobile accessibility, interactivity and website integration to the mix.

Here are three social commerce apps to check out. Compare features and pricing and be sure to read online reviews and contact each company with any questions before making a purchasing decision.

F-Commerce App Glimpse Aims to Make Shopping Fun for Consumers

Glimpse App by

The ScanSee app connects retailers, suppliers and consumers.

Glimpse is a Facebook commerce app from shopping search engine, The Find. Company Spokesperson Usher Liebermann explained to Search Engine Watch how Glimpse works: “There are about 500 million products for sale and about 100 million (1 in 5) have a Like button next to them. Only about 3 million of those have ever had a Like. We see a lot of value in the data of knowing what someone has Liked. Once they give permission, we can see the products they Like, the stores and brands they Like, and the stores, brands and products their friends like.”

Glimpse works by analyzing activity surrounding specific products and making social recommendations to users of the app. The company believes they have crawled (included in their index) all of the 500,000 e-commerce websites in North America.

This isn’t an app you can sign up for, though you can optimize your products to ensure their inclusion. Use high quality images, integrate your website and product pages with a Facebook Like button, and promote your products across social channels.

ScanSee Allows Local Businesses to Compete on a Global Scale

ScanSee is a new mobile commerce app that connects retailers, suppliers and consumers. The company builds custom mobile apps, or AppSites, that also serve as mobile websites for retailers and helps them manage and promote the app.

Local businesses can interact with consumers using the ScanSee app anywhere, anytime. Businesses can display their logo, special offers and store location, among other information, using text, graphics or video. They can link to any page in their existing website or other locations on the Internet, such as YouTube, from within the app. Companies can also see aggregated marketing data on their dashboard.

Unique feature about ScanSee: the app-maker gives back 50% of its profits to qualifying universities. Consumers can select their favorite university to receive ScanSee's donations. Visit their “Claim Your Business” page to register.

Quiqq Makes Social Commerce Fast & Simple for Retailers

The Quiqq app enables local and small businesses to post what they want to sell, when they want to sell it, and instantly share it to Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Email and SMS.  The app-maker just recently added PayPal integration and a Buy Now button, so users can buy directly from within the app.

Did we mention it’s free? Quiqq is available on the Apple iTunes store.

Are you using social commerce apps? Share your favorites in the comments!