What makes a social platform successful in commerce?
A social platform, in general, builds referrals and lends credibility to your goods and services. It also drives that “gotta have it now” impulse among consumers, which encourages discretionary spending.
To truly be successful, standards of measurement need to be in place that track and analyze returning customers, adoption and click-thru rates, opt-out rates and conversions to sales. Definitively speaking, the platform needs to have a highly active user base that is enabling the interchange of goods and/or services. Socially speaking, it has a savvy user base that is highly engaged in the exchange of ideas, thoughts, fads and more. And, commercially speaking, it has a growing user base that is performing various monetary transactions – from peer-to-peer payments, mobile Web and in-app purchases, and much more.
From your perspective, do consumers enjoy integrating shopping with their social platform?
Consumers do like when they can hear from friends or others about the value of something they are considering buying. A consumer’s level of engagement can vary greatly based on demographics, however. For instance, younger “Look at Me,” more digitally engaged shoppers will generally be more willing to share their purchases including pictures, what they like about the purchase and how it makes them feel; while older “Baby Boomer” shoppers may be less inclined to take part, sharing with family and close friends with direct messages and posts versus more “public” postings. Importantly, merchants also should be aware of those “Negative Nelly” types who will only share negative experiences.
Based on what you’ve seen so far what does social commerce look like in five years?
Biometrics will become far more common, including voice activation, which will allow consumers to order and post comments without ever typing or entering anything. And we’ll see more inter-connectivity between devices and brick-and-mortar sites, like BLE technology, as well as increased partnerships between payments, retailers and social media websites in general. Endorsement advertising will become the norm and create greater refinement in the ratings systems that enable consumer testimonials.
Bob was featured in the PYMNTS.com article.