Archive for February, 2012
A recent report last weekend pointed out that many big brands opened and closed shops on Facebook within the past year – undermining expectations that the social network will become a major revenue driver for retailers over the next decade. On the other hand, the rise of Pinterest (92nd Meetup), and its potential brings an interesting question about the future of Social Commerce, is it viable? and if yes, how does it look. This is what we set to discuss and dissect at the 93rd Social Media Breakfast.
The Beginning of the End of Facebook Stores?
Last week there was a report from Bloomberg that big brands like Gap, JCPenny are shutting down their Facebook stores after an year of operation. Facebook is not turning out a place to sell many feel, more like a place to communicate about deals. It was anticipated by many big players that Facebook would turn into a new destination for selling, but it didn’t. The fundamental learning was that being on Facebook is like hanging out at a bar or a party, and it became like peddling products and services at a place where users are not ready for it. (Pinterest on the other hand is a different game), So this brings us to the question – Can Retailers Harness The Power of Facebook? Some ideas we brainstormed – Personalized shopping experience, Facebook can bring a better personalization to your shopping experience, It must offer a new user experience, what’s new for the user in buying on Facebook if nothing different about it?
The Rise of Pinterest & The New Social Commerce
Pinterest on the other hand is growing leaps by the day and if you have noticed it has options to add price to your pins. So retailers can pin their product images, add a price to it and link it to the product on their store. This brings very qualified potentials to your store. By the same example of Facebook being a bar or a party, Pinterest is like a crafts bazaar. You go there expecting something cool. Also a point worthy of mention is that Pinterest is a Social Network of stuff, and it beats a social network of people (Facebook) when it comes to the business of selling.
What Defines Social Commerce?
The discussion on Social Commerce transcended into a funny debate about what constitutes social commerce and what doesn’t. We all agreed in the end that if the sales transaction happens directly through a social network, that would be social commerce. Many argued that promoting your products or services on Facebook or Twitter are also sending leads back to your store, but that’s the usual Social Media Marketing isn’t it? Social commerce would be about the last mile transactions, the closing of sales, cha ching!
By this definition even Pinterest may not be 100% Social Commerce, since it sends links back to your website. But a new player in the game – ‘Fancy‘ claims to add the commerce to the Pinterest model. This site some would say is like Pinterest but facilitates online sales directly on their website. Simar argued that if he wanted to sell his car and posted on Facebook, would that be social commerce? Komal felt that by promoting tweets linked back to products, she’s in fact part of social commerce. Aashish gave an example of a movie ticket booking app, which lets you add your friends to a movie plan, and buy tickets through the App on Facebook. Raghav on the other hand shared positive experience about using Pinterest for Affiliate marketing
The Last Word – Cha Ching!
The last word on it was about the final closing, the final transaction. If it brings cash into your register directly through social – That’s Social Commerce. (The debate isn’t over yet, you got the comments section below). The 93rd Social Media Breakfast turned out to be most entertaining one in a long time. if you missed this one, register early for the next one. All in all it was a valuable meeting with key learning about what works and what does not on Social Media for e-Commerce.
Pinterest is one of the latest entries in the A-Class of social media sites that have captivated users worldwide. The site’s phenomenal growth and unique features, including the ability for businesses to create links from posted photos/images to company websites, is leading many online retailers to believe that Pinterest has the potential to be a game changer in the area of social commerce. This is what we set out to discuss and dissect at the 92nd Social Media Breakfast.
Looks like the new guy on the block is on a roll. Pinterest hit the 10 million users mark faster than any independent site in history. What’s surprising is that over 1/5th of Facebook-connected users are on Pinterest daily, which is more than 2,000,000 members! Since the start of 2012 its daily users have increased by more than 145%. Something we couldn’t get our heads around was the fact that Pinterest is generating more referral traffic to websites than YouTube, Google+, and LinkedIn combined, which makes it a game changer.
Taking it for a spin
By a quick show of hands we knew that Pinterest was on everyone’s curiosity list. With 13 people signed up for the meetup, over 24 showed up. So we took it for a spin, hooked up the projector and Mani Singh was kind enough to walk us through his account. And as we went, we compared it with Google Images (the natural competition when it comes to images). We compared unique searches like ‘fish recipes’, ‘dog food’ to ‘film posters’ and something which stood out were the quality of images on Pinterest. Google images on one hand is algorithm generated, Pinterest is curated by its users.
Here are some first reactions on Pinterest from the meetup
- Looks good, love the images (Komal Puri)
- It’s not just about images, it’s about qualified links back to your website. (Mani Singh)
- Pinterest is a Boutique if Google Images is a Wholesale Store, and its missing a strong search. (Simarprit Singh)
- Pinterest is curated Google Images, with links (Aashish Chopra)
- Content is pinned from all across the web, overall its got ‘cuter’ pics (Amanpreet)
- Good images, doFollow links (good for SEO) and relevant results (Ramandeep)
- Pinterest is inclined towards social commerce (Ankit Agarwal)
- Got me hooked! (Nivesh Sharma)
Why is it important?
Some pointers about why Pinterest is important and good for business 🙂
- SEO Benefit (dofollow links)
- It is social bookmarking on steroids
- Brings qualified traffic to your website
- Retailers can add a price to their product images (pins)
- De-Clutters the content
In the end, we discussed what makes a startup like Pinterest successful, Simar raised a valid point that being a game changer in a small niche and packaging makes all the difference. Mani felt strongly that it’s the brilliant execution behind the idea which makes it successful.