Facebook is banking on it. Social engagement that drives sharing and personal recommendations to directly drive sales. While there are app templates for in-network e-commerce, such as Tab Juice, social commerce refers to the direct and measurable connection between social influences via a network like Facebook and its direct connection to sales either on or offline.
Forrester’s report proves how fan’s of a brand online are much more powerful when influencing consideration and purchase.
Facebook is also testing a Want button plugin. While the ‘Like’ button measures a fan who most likely owns a brand in some way, ‘Want’ clearly defines the desire to own – clearly a powerful data-set to own.
…and Facebook is not the only one. Foursquare enables us to ‘check into’ locations that offer us deals while Pinterest allows is to curate what we are most passionate about. I can see a time where our Pinterest pins actually lead to a link to purchase, and a time when we all get a piece of the sale if the referral came from our post or link…the ultimate affiliate sales model all driven by social commerce.
The Fancy is already starting to do this. “Each time a user clicks to share an item they’ve “fancy’d,” they receive a URL with a unique referral code. If someone makes a purchase using that link, they’ll receive 2% of the sale price 30 days after that item has shipped”. See Mashable’s post.
Seven other noteworthy entrants are:
Karma enabling you to send gifts right from your phone.
Wrapp an offer/gifting offering that allows you to gift and add onto the value of select coupons and offers.
Gumroad allows you to sell directly to your friends and followers via a simple link vs. having to host your own e-commerce solution.
Mulu is another affiliate sales model from recommendations with the cash going to charities.
Needle delivers customer service that is crowd-sourced from other buyers who will most likely know more about what they are shopping for than any remote helpline.
Curisma. A curated tech experience based upon your Facebook profile’s likes and wants.
Aisle411. Mobile shopping list that actually helps you navigate the isles of a store and find that one item with your phone.
Mashable posted a solid article on the 4 startups it felt were revolutionizing social commerce last month. Of these, my favorite is LocalResponse as it uses mobile technology to help retailers engage with customers in-store! Advertising Age sees Facebook as a $540BB hub built around referrals and selling.
IBM is also offering IT and enterprise social e-commerce platform integration.
In all my years of posting I have never had so much fodder to talk about. For those wondering how social media will monetize itself (and no, it will not be ads) this is it and it’s happening fast.
Jared Hendler, MWW EVP, and global director of digital and creative services, brings over 20 years of creative management experience in branding, advertising, digital media & technology forged from over a decade in the corporate world along with having founded and managed two new media startups. Jared is a member of the New York Advisory Board for Social Media Week and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or @