Paul Fabretti
Gareth Owen
James Lowery

This session will be on how social commerce will grow over the next 10 years. There will also be an aspect of search and the impact it has/ will have on social commerce.

What is social commerce? – The value of every empty table/seat/unsold product

What infuences your purchasing decisions? – 71% of 18-30yrs say friends and family influence them.

In the day Gap released it’s Facebook deal it generated $11million.

2 sides of social commerce –
1. Facebook shop/app
2. Shopping as a social activity

There has been a shift in how people feel about sharing their information/ habits. When Twitter connect was first launched, people were shocked at the types of things were willing to share. Now, people want to be a part of it and share their purchases with their friends.

Google now has enough information that it can dictate rankings to particular peers based on their likes/dislikes and personalities.

Is social commerce inherently wrong?

The panel acknowledged that there is an opportunity for a brand is to build loyalty and a following not just to sell to. If you can reduce the distance between your audience and your products, then do; but don’t force sales as people will disconnect.

Do customer service people need to re-think their approach for social? Just because a particular method works on the phone doesn’t mean it will work in the online social space.

In terms of how often/ how to manage social channels for a brand, you need to look at how people are currently engaging and your objectives, then build your management strategy around those.

James Lowery explained that customer service teams are much more appropriate to manage social accounts for their brand than an agency as they know the brand and can make key decisions quickly. An external management team (agency) would have to call the brand to discuss options if problems arise.

Facebook ads: Is advertising on social networks pointless or should we just be creating great content?

From a paid search point of view, Facebook ads allow you to target very specific types of people, coupled with the amount of page views people have when browsing Facebook means that the stats of FB ads aren’t actually that poor.

The data is blurry when people come from Facebook to a site to make a purchase. This makes it incredibly hard to determine trends of customers from Facebook and makes it hard to put a value on FB fans/ friends.

Groupon, Voucher Cloud etc…

Q. How can businesses prepare for the potential explosion of the Groupon type businesses?

A. Businesses need to plan properly on the type of scale that the site delivers. Not doing so can result in bankruptcy!

Q. How can social commerce take advantage of mobile retail?

A. People are always connected to their phones. Any commerce that you do can be tailored to take advantage of this.

Q. Is there a danger that we’re considering m-commerce as it’s own right and needs to be totally integrated with social?

A. Yes – all of this adds to the overall experience. People are increasingly sharing purchases and by doing so help to drive more sales.

Final note: In order to really determine the value of a Facebook fan or Follower, you need to use a suite of different tools. Tools that track things like retweets, number or comments per status etc all help to determine how valuable each member of your engaged online social audience are.