What exactly is social commerce?

author: admin date: December 28, 2011

Lots of people are talking about social commerce as the ‘next big thing’. But since I don’t like to settle with hyped vagueries, I’d like to pull apart what exactly makes social commerce different than non-social commerce.

All the research and work we’ve done in building sharable applications, we’ve found that people share things they are highly emotional about and therefor, strong emotions are at the center of anything ‘social’ online.

I’ll put out the attributes of shopping and product ownership that seem emotional:

Product love
Love of a beautiful car, a reliable tool, or a life-bettering gadget. 
Product love is created by the relationship between a person and a product.  I should also note that Product Hate exists (but is probably not something brands want to to capture.)

Product aspiration
A bride dreaming of her perfect wedding. Drooling over an unattainable Ferrari. Obsession with shoes.
Products that are hard to get or simply beautiful are aspired. These products often represent a desirable lifestyle.

Product community 
hacking the HP Touchpad, video game forums, souping-up cars
Nerding out about a product. In the process, people become part of a community. It’s fun!

christmas presents, flowers for Mother’s Day, cards
Gifts are physical representations of the care and emotions we hold among ourselves.

It will likely become the responsibility of brands to build commerce experiences that encourage these emotions. I hope we start seeing this soon. Social commerce is huge, but the odd thing is… companies seem to be installing shopping carts on their Facebook pages, but not doing much to actually address the core emotionality behind social shopping.

I think we should change this.

Am I missing any emotional aspects of commerce? Are there interesting examples of social commerce out there? I’d love to know.



cateogories: Blog, Brands, Facebook, Trends

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