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SOCIAL COMMERCE TRENDSThe key challenge for online retailers is to connect with consumers even as they become disengagedwi...
As social commerce transitions from a trend to the norm, it is very likely that we will begin to see moreand more converge...
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. SOCIAL COMMERCE TRENDS

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The key challenge for online retailers is to connect with consumers even as they become disengaged with typical marketing campaigns. According to a study conducted by marketing analyst Compete, Inc., retailers can achieve commercial success by directly involving consumers in promoting and selling their offerings.

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. SOCIAL COMMERCE TRENDS

  1. 1. SOCIAL COMMERCE TRENDSThe key challenge for online retailers is to connect with consumers even as they become disengagedwith typical marketing campaigns. According to a study conducted by marketing analyst Compete, Inc.,retailers can achieve commercial success by directly involving consumers in promoting and selling theirofferings. As such, social commerce innovators are using one of six strategies to integrate consumersinto their sales and marketing efforts: branded micro‐sites, customer reviews and ratings, onlinecustomer forums, peer‐to‐peer transactions, product‐focused blogs and community‐created products.Customer Reviews and RatingsA critical aspect of social commercing is the ability to see user reviews and "other people who viewedthis item also viewed" data. This information enables consumers to choose the product that best meetstheir needs and makes them feel comfortable with their purchasing decisions.User‐Generated Content and MerchandisingAccording to e‐commerce software designer ATG, “[The year] 2008 will see e‐retailers explore thedifferent ways in which their customers’ productivity can further drive sales.One example will be the option of users creating and displaying all their favorite product catalogues on asingle site. Customers will be able annotate their favorite products, giving online retailers access topersonalized information that can further drive cross‐sell and up‐sell opportunities.”Similarly, This Next enables shoppers to explore and discover products and gift ideas based on otherusers’ recommendations. An interesting addition is the site’s global shopping activity map, which is amashup of a world map with balloons showing what various shoppers are looking at and where theylive.Advanced Profiling & Targeted AdvertisingRather than basing personalized offers solely on an individual’s basket contents and browsing history,e‐retailers will begin to factor in demographic classifications, as well.Factors such as a shopper’s location, age, ethnicity and salary will all have an impact on the ways he orshe is targeted and the offers received. One way to gain access to this information is to integratee‐commerce solution with social networking sites. Tracking consumers’ movements across channels willalso be a key area for improvement.ConvergenceMore and more social networking and e‐commerce sites are beginning to consolidate multiple webservices into a single portal. Open APIs (application programming interfaces) such as Google OpenSocialprovide developer communities with the tools to create a collaborative platform that can integratevarious web services to single point.eBay, for example, has leveraged open APIs to make its software open to the public so that otherwebsites can easily link to it.Another example of this new convergence of social networking and e‐commerce isTagWorld’s free online classifieds service. TagWorld, a high‐energy social networking space, enables itsusers to create personalized storefronts that can be incorporated into their personal web pages.Members can post items for sale in the classifieds section and have other members search for them bytags (subject, category, keyword, zip code radius, etc.). The service even utilizes PayPal to makepayment for items easier. This free, easy‐to‐use service makes TagWorld attractive to people who wantto sell items on the Internet but do not want to become a Power Seller on eBay.
  2. 2. As social commerce transitions from a trend to the norm, it is very likely that we will begin to see moreand more convergence of social networking and e‐commerce websites. As far as who will become theleader in this market, it all depends on who can provide the most extensive and innovative shoppingexperience.Related Links: Saas Application Development Agile product life cycle management Mobile application development

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