Im letzten Teil des Interview teilt Paul mit uns seine Ansichten, welche Anbieter derzeit als Innovatoren die Social Commerce Arena mitgestalten. Wer mehr dazu wissen will, sollte sich das Vendor Directory auf socialcommercetoday anschauen
Steimel: Let’s talk about companies which are really shaping social commerce from the software vendor side of the game?
Marsden: My personal view is that it’s not about technology it’s about people!
And one of the mistakes that is being made in social commerce is that we’re taking it as a technology play rather than a psychology or a people play. So, I think, it’s the companies that understand their consumers best, that are doing best. It’s all about the customer experience and the technology is just an enabler of that.
So who are the players, that are making waves in improving, the software vendors, that are making this possible? There you’ve got probably four different poles of groups:
1. Companies that sell social technology to e-commerce sites. You’ve got bazaarvoice and Power Review. They basically give you amazon style social technology to enhance conversion. And also to improve the customer experience on the site.
2. Companies investing in point of sale digital social technology. Those companies, that are putting in Facebook connected mirrors, QR-codes, augmented reality acts in store not just on the e-commerce. So you’ve got those companies who are basically adding social technology to e-commerce.
3. companies offering e-commerce functionality to social sites which currently is all about Facebook. You’ve got German companies such as ShopShare, Ondango and Sellaround, who are driving forward these shop widgets, the e-commerce widgets, that can be embedded into Facebook tabs, into news feeds and can be embedded into blogs. So selling e-commerce technology is the part of those companies.
4. Group buying – the event-based social commerce. You have companies such as GILT on one hand – the flash sale clubs – and the group buy such as Groupon and livingsocial. They do basically event-based retail, based on a club-type format. So, I think, you’ve got these shopping club sites. They will continue to innovate in adding social dimensions. And I think, what we will start to see is using more SoLoMo-type technologies and for the flash sales: Integrating that into traditional retail environments. So I think those three poles are the main players.
What I think is going to become a lot more prevalent and powerful is subscription commerce.
Well you have shopping clubs, but there are subscription clubs, where you pay a monthly feed. In the U.S. you have Birchbox, over here a clone of Birchbox is Douglas Box. Rather then trying to get a customer to buy each time they get a box every month with new samples, that they can share with friends. I think, these clubs – shopping clubs with subscription – are a big growth area for shopping clubs.
Steimel: Last question: What are your lessons learned from Facebook-commerce and where do you see the future challenges let’s say for the next 12 month?
Marsden: There is a danger, that companies, that have been pushed to set up their stores in Facebook – great convenient stores – play the whole frictionless commerce thing. Everybody is on Facebook, so let’s sell on Facebook. From my experience of talking to brands who’ve done it: The return on investment – by simply cloning your mobile e-commerce site and sticking it on Facebook on a tab – is very low. It doesn’t work. The danger is, that people say “Oh Facebook-commerce – it doesn’t work.”
What is working extraordinary well from what I’m hearing – are pop-up fan-stores in Facebook: temporary stores that ‘pop-up’ to sell a single new line to fans for a limited amount of time – often before anyone else gets access.
It’s a store for fans with a view to activating advocacy – that‘ll work. Heinz has done it with ketchup, Chanel are doing it with lipstick lines – to optimise the launch of new products. And whenever you put up these pop-up stores, pop-up stores create buzz outside in real life. Digital pop-up stores in Facebook seem to work very well, because you’re selling to fans, you are giving people fan-first-access, you’re creating an event. So I think we will start seeing more and more.
Pop-up retail is part of the retail strategy of many big brands. Apple is doing pop-up retail, NIKE is doing it, Adidas is doing it. Everybody is doing pop-up retail in real life. I think we’ll start seeing pop-up retail really taking over in Facebook, on mobile, and more widely in digital media.
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