What is the correct definition for Social Commerce?

bazaarvoiceBonanzaBuzzmartGroup BuyingGrouponInternet HubLocalMiloQ&AQuestions and AnswersRatings and ReviewsrecommendationsReevooRetail MarketplaceShopIgniterSocialsocial commercesocial marketplaceSocial PromotionSocial WidgetsThisNextViewpoints+-

In a recent Blog post, I referred to Brian Solis and JESS3’s ’Conversation Prism’ where they list 7 companies as being representative of Social Commerce; as follows:

Bazaarvoice - 3d Party Widgets for Ratings / Reviews / Answers - similar to UK-based Reevoo
Groupon - Group Buying / Discounts
LivingSocial - Group Buying / Discounts
Milo - Local Shopping Marketplace (They define themselves as the Anti-Amazon marketplace - representing local retailers)
ShopIgniter - eCommerce, Social Promotion, Facebook Store, Analysis
ThisNext - Shopping Recommendations, kind of like a Retail / Product-based Digg!
Viewpoints - Social Consumer Reviews Site, kind of like an open community-based ’Which?’ consumer product and service ratings and reviews


Thus the definition of ’Social Commerce’ is fairly broad, with 5 genre types indicated above:


Ratings, Reviews and Answers (either as a widget [Bazaarvoice] or community site [Viewpoints])
Recommendations Engines [ThisNext]
Group Buying / Discounts [Groupon]
Retail Marketplace [Milo]
Retail Platform with Integrated Social Appendages [ShopIgniter]


There are of course numerous other examples which fit into the above categories, including marketplaces Bonanza and Buzzmart. Other authorities associate Social Commerce more with 3rd party social widgets / add-ons like KickApps:


Social Widgets [KickApps]


At Comrz, our definition is closest to ’Retail Platform with Integrated Social Appendages’, although we go a little further in what we believe encompasses the ’Total Social Commerce’ experience. We have always defined our Social Commerce Platform ’Affino’ as consisting of 6 essential core elements: Content, Media, Store, Promotion, Community, Analysis


Social Marketplace & Social Internet Hub [Affino]


Comrz’s definition has the social elements as a core of the actual experience, and where other solutions largely make use of the major social sites (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr etc.) Affino is both fully stand-alone AND integrated, so that it replicates the complete social experience in a stand-alone solution, but also exists as a ’Hub’ which integrates with the key social engines, meaning you get the best of both worlds, but most importantly own your customer relationship, and fully shape and control your customer environment.

In terms of retail integration, Affino stores can already feed product catalogues through to eBay and Google Products; Amazon Marketplace is still on the to-do list, and pending further customer feedback / demand, it is likely that we provide a Facebook Commerce option at some stage in the near future. Social Commerce is changing though, as for more and more individuals their most accessed PC is no longer on their desk, but constantly to hand - in the form of their Smartphone. One of the most significant developments this year will be Affino’s Mobile Interface development - which will provide content and retail in a universally applied HTML 5 -utilising framework.

For Affino, a key part also is the burgeoning online economy - which includes various digital media, Video-on-demand and eBooks, as well as the ability to sell content access, events - in fact pretty much everything. The Comrz / Affino Social Commerce definition would really be the ability to draw revenue from every single of your company’s online activities - whether they be more abstract, in terms of participative events or services, or more material in terms of physical products. Comrz believes that Social Commerce is the total monetisation, management and analysis of pretty much every online activity!

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