A new revolution is brewing in social e-commerce

[ First posted on November 8, 2010]
Recently, a colleague showed me a video on social commerce and it dawned on me how this new form of e-commerce may just be the tipping point for a whole new wave of consumers latching on to the e-commerce, opening up potential for new strides in bringing new consumers to the space and also unlocking limitless possibilities for retailers. Here’s why:Rise in social consciousness and lowered privacy needs
1. We have all become more socially conscious and our acceptance of social networks’s creeping influence shapes our behaviour in interaction and communication. Most importantly, a new boundary for our acceptance of privacy and personal space is being pulled back as we learn and accept the fact that we become more entangled by the social web(whether we like it or not).

Reviews coming from friends you know
2. We have always relied on comments and ratings and reviews by strangers and people we don’t know and we somehow know that they have made that review in good altruistic faith. But all that is going to change as we will now get to hear from people that we know, relationships that we value above other strange foreign links. In any research, word of mouth has almost always been cited as the top influencing contact point in influencing perceptions and purchase decisions. Imagine the explosion of rise in confidence when researching or evaluating in products you are not familiar with and finding out that your friend has made a comment and rating about it.

Immediacy
3. The instant availability of friends’ opinions is as powerful as it can be dangerous. Encouraging more crowdsourced wisdom while at the same time patting spontaneity on its back may not always be wise. However, whether we like it or understand it’s potential, it is definitely happening. Imagine instore and online purchases connected

Participation made easy
4. The lowering of barriers to participation and easy involvement thru better interfaces, a single common platform to link everything up. This influx of a common ground on which decisions can be made on will prove invaluable to brands looking to connect their consumers with each other.  social viewing, social music listening, social buying. What will be next?

What’s your take on this?

For those interested to find out more, here’s a few websites and a video link about social commerce:

http://www.briansolis.com/2010/09/the-decline-of-asocial-shopping-and-the-rise-of-social-commerce/

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