As soon as the black Friday commerce data was published with a thumbs up to mobile commerce and a hard beating to social commerce, people started doubting all the hype surrounded social commerce! In a way this thrashing can be justified, as businesses are now expecting significant return on investment after spending substantial amounts of money on social media marketing, from paying consultants to running guerrilla campaigns to engaging people via this medium.
mein-spessart-media (@mspmedia) November 30, 2012
On Black Friday, 1 of the largest shopping days in the US, Twitter sent a whopping 0% traffic to e-commerce sites techcrunch.com/2012/11/26/the…—
John Beale (@jtbeale) November 30, 2012
Alibaba.com UK (@AlibabaTalk_UK) October 09, 2012
On the other hand, an introduction of smartphones and tablets has hugely boosted the mobile commerce numbers and if you believe the pundits, by 2015 every 3rd online transaction will happen via mobile device and every second offline buyer will check goods prices on a phone before buying it in the shop!
IAB study reveals 80% of smartphone owners shop on their device bit.ly/TqwGR4—
Vikki Chowney (@vikkichowney) November 27, 2012
IBM: % consumers using a mobile device to visit a retailer’s site on T'giving was 26.5% compared to 15.8% in '11 buff.ly/Y74XaS—
Stowe Boyd (@stoweboyd) November 23, 2012
eBay.co.uk (@ebay_uk) November 06, 2012
And as a result of this, every online and offline retailer is vigorously competing to introduce apps with all the latest technologies, such as voice recognition, Image and barcode scanning, to win mobile-savvy customers and to support mobile payments; meanwhile, all remittance suppliers are surging ahead with one-click mobile payment technology!
Which means, if John Smith wants to buy a tie he’s just seen in a magazine or website, he will scan that on his phone to check best available price and buy in one click to be delivered next or same day to him! i.e., the convenience at the best for price sensitive customers!!
Amazon’s ‘Fabulous’ iPad app finds shoes by shape goo.gl/fb/AvjZ9—
GeekWire (@geekwire) December 04, 2012
So the question is – in this mobile and app commerce world, where does the social commerce fit, or is there any room for the social-verse when all swords are out for Social ROI? And the answer is – definitely social commerce is going to prevail due to simple reason that, we gradually start spending more of our online time on social media networks,those have become our second point of contact when we are watching TV, dinning at restaurants, shopping at mauls or even spending time with friends.
Steve Cassady (@SteveCassady) November 18, 2012
However, there will be a transition, or perhaps it’s already happening, from finding information (or products) on social media to eventually buying the product from that medium! Currently even social media networks from Facebook to Twitter to Google+ to Pinterest are positioning themselves as information gateways, so that when it comes to finding the best shopping trends, images, ratings and reviews, many look at their social universe but still buy on at non-social network platform ranging from Amazon to eBay.And for businesses social media is the place to collect data as thousands of people around many platforms are talking and sharing views continuously about their products!
Twitter for market research-Every business has its target market,on Twitter you can easily access your target market & useful feedback!—
Cheryl Pierce (@PartyzoneEnt) December 03, 2012
F-commerce 'too soon' for retailers, says Facebook's retail director bit.ly/VmD7B7—
Steve Underwood (@steve_und) December 05, 2012
Chris Applegate (@qwghlm) October 09, 2012
I think the next stage would be, or perhaps already is, that we will be able to buy desired products from purely social networks rather than using them just as pre- and post-sale discovery tools.
EyeTraffic Media (@EyeTraffic) November 28, 2012
Facebook Wants Your Credit Card Information - After the re-launch of Gifts, Facebook seems extra motivated ... tinyurl.com/bq7fmue—
Tjahjono Heru Laskar (@HeruTweets) November 29, 2012
However, I am not a firm believer in an app economy i.e. I don’t believe that apps running on social media will be the main tool of its transition from discovery to transaction tool.
I only have like 4 apps on my iPhone. There is always just too many choices and I get scared and exit the app store—
Corey Drzewicki (@cdrz24) November 30, 2012
There are far too many apps available for my phone, sometimes I don't know what to download. #DroidRage—
Donny (@cyclonesworld) December 05, 2012
But, if Facebook, Twitter and especially Pinterest can become pure marketplace for both suppliers and consumers, yet maintain consumer privacy and business identity, than they have a winning formula.
And, to a certain extent, Facebook, Google, Twitter and Pinterest brand pages, widgets and APIs are gradually building social interest and knowledge, and professional graphs, which are the right steps in social commerce directions, where both businesses and consumers can interact and know each other. However transactions with payment are still a stumbling block as these networks don’t have their users’ credit card info, which means that to make payment on social networks, both suppliers and consumers needs to seek third party help.
My credit card company just asked me to "like" them on facebook and I decided not to because I don't.—
brandoning (@BrandonDePaolo) December 05, 2012
I think here Apple, Amazon or eBay, with millions of consumers’ credit card details, are in very advantageous position, and if they somehow manage to amalgamate social media to their platforms, then we have winner too! But Apple, with Ping, has already burnt their hand in this area – eBay is currently going all image driven (like Pinterest)– results are yet to be seen! And Amazon reviews remain one of the most prominent places to find product information, but not the place to hang out with friends!
Hugo Phan (@Hugop848) December 05, 2012
Overall even, if we know the winning formula for Social Commerce is eBay + Facebook, there are still a few very hard yards to cover to reach this stage. We all know that just as we don’t hang out with friends in shops and don’t buy goods in restaurants or bars, it would be a humongous task to mix social and ecommerce sites, but I am sure we are not far now from a time when we will have the technology to mix these two, leaving buyers’ privacy and business identity intact. And while this transition will take place, mobile will become (or has already become) the prime device to find and buy products and services. Which means the formula for successful monetisation would be mobile device + social network = commerce!
I look forward to the day when some startup or company figures out how to interweave social influence with social commerce. #GameChanger—
Jonah Lupton (@JonahLupton) November 29, 2012
Pi Social Media (@PiSocialMedia) November 30, 2012