Monday, December 24, 2012

Social Commerce by Definition

A segment of a social network

Chirpify CEO Chris Teso recently weighed in on the social commerce debate by sharing his definition of the term. (Just for the record Chirpify is a social commerce and payments platform for Twitter and Instagram.)
In the opening paragraph of his post, Teso states that the definition of social commerce has changed from recommendations of products by friends that eventually led to sales of said product to link sharing by brands inside social media. With that definition in mind, Teso suggests much of what we call social commerce today is really nothing more than social advertising.
“The problem with this, and previous definitions, is that it’s not actual commerce. It’s merely a link that attempts to redirect one’s attention, and browser, away from a social experience to a traditional e-commerce experience,” remarks Teso. “If a consumer can not pay in-stream on the social network, it’s not social commerce, it’s advertising.”
To him, this has ramifications that apply to conversion percentages, user experience, and data. Not only that, it requires too much of a commodity that is in scarce supply, attention. It also requires too much transactional friction for it to be effective, according to Tesco.
His definition: For commerce to truly be “social,” it must be in-stream, require few clicks and very little thought on the part of the purchaser. “Instant gratification” leads to more sales, pure and simple.
Teso camps on one major social commerce sticky wicket – data analysis: “[W]hen the social platform is disconnected from the commerce platform there is a chasm the data cannot cross.”
Conversely, it’s much easier to prove a case for social commerce when the social identity of the purchaser is directly connected to the purchase intent, which is what Chirpify enables.

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