Have been hearing & participating in some awesome conversations lately about Social Commerce. Someone explained me this – Transactional eCommerce is Big. Social media is where all users are today, it is already very Big.
So, Social + eCommerce = Social Commerce = Very very big!
Hence there is lot of interest today in products and platforms that are trying to bridge the gap. Analysts are predicting that it’s the next big thing and stating it is reaching its inflection point.
Completely agree with all that. But Social Commerce is simple, here is how you solve it.
Oooops, btw did I tell you that more than $50 Million has been invested till date to solve this Social Commerce problem that merchants can do it themselves in less than 24 hours!
Some key insights for players in Social Commerce:
Existing ecosystem of eCommerce and Social Media is sufficient for building a Social Commerce without intermediation of players who do not add any value.
It will be difficult for a:
- Existing social player to exploit potential of social commerce by introducing a new ecommerce service (Facebook or Twitter trying to build a Amazon)
- Existing ecommerce player to exploit potential of social commerce by introducing a new social service. (Amazon trying to build a Facebook or Twitter)
Current players who are trying to build solutions are concentrating on building their own ecosystem of users & products – which is not impossible but extremely challenging. Reason being – such players do not own the products or the users (users that have more tight social connections as on Facebook & Twitter)
Unless a third situation happens – i.e. someone builds a valuable middle layer that provides affinity to both – social & commerce. As an platform in this case you need to provide enough value to users (either users from Social Media or users from eCommerce). One such promising player is FourSquare. They add a new value of – “checking in” to its users that are socially connected. Their current efforts are concentrated on getting these Social Connections to checkin to venues – which is demonstrated by its 7Mn+ users.
For purpose of this presentation I have kept other Social Models out –
- Foursquare: Because its reach is still 1% compared to Facebook’s 600 Million users.
- Groupon: It is a commerce player, but not social player. Groupon is not user engagement – view Fred Wilson’s comments here: http://t.co/p78buu0
What’s your opinion on Social Commerce?
[Guest article by PJ. Reproduced from his blog]