I got credit for a great post on social commerce I didn’t write.
As for whether 2010 will be the year for social commerce, I’m not sure. I think 2009 really accelerated the social advertising trend. Some of my posts are here.
Social commerce still has a ways to go. I named this as a key e-commerce 2.0 trend back in 2006 and didn’t explicitly distinguish it from social advertising. I should have.
It will remain fuzzy and open to interpretations, unless we agree on a clear and fixed definition of ‘social commerce’.
For a boom in 2010 I am not happy with the Wikipedia definition, as it remains too vague and allows for too many activities of low significance to be called ‘social commerce’ (like recommendation and review sites, or co-browsing, which is grandly and fashionably called ‘social shopping’).
While the involvement of digital social networks does justify the ‘social’ bit, for the ‘commerce’ part I would prefer a more transactional definition, where tangible value changes hands (e.g. goods/services and cash).
Next thing is, how do we know it’s “the year of” something? Another fuzzy area with media favourites like “explosion” or even the quantitative-sounding “exponential” for things that were never exponential…What is a remarkable growth? Above stock market averages? Or two-fold? Ten-fold?
Any thoughts on good and widely aceptable definitions of ‘social commerce’ and ‘spectacular groth’?
P.S. And while I wait for that, here’s my $0.02 of a prediction: in 2010 we will see an above-average, but not spectacular – increase in e-commerce transactions originated, facilitated, or entirely completed within digital social networks.
Vlad, yes, I don’t really believe in “the year of X”.
If you count social gaming and virtual goods, then your prediction seems imminently attainable.
Note also that e-commerce gets a boost from H1N1 becoming more of an issue (fewer people out and about).
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Is the H1N1 becoming such an issue over there? Here in Old Blighty people seem reckless – malls and high streets are crowded as usual, and will be getting more crowded in coming weeks. There was even a stampede on turning on the Xmas lights in Birmngham (25k people gathered in a square that can hardly hold 5k; a few were injured, but nobody even thought of flue transmissions?..)
The question is: can any side-effect boost like H1N1 be correlated in any way to social effects?
I hinted (heavily) about my preferred definition of ‘social’, whereby I wouldn’t count user reviews as ‘social commerce’. Reviews also exist for products that are only bought off-line and were never the subject of e-commerce. If we are to consider the influence on purchase decision (rather than commerce transactions), then we should also acount for traditional old-media PR as ‘social commerce’ etc. etc.
In my prediction bit I carefully worded a possible definition: “transactions originated, facilitated, or entirely completed within digital social networks” (or networking platforms, to be even more precise). The operative keyword being transactions.
Which is a lot of FFT* for operators and creators of SN platforms, and those worried about their monetisation 🙂
* food for thought
H1N1 is still not a big problem but flu season hasn’t hit yet.
I’m with you on transactions and the influence to generate those.
Social commerce social advertising social media / UGC
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