Valentine’s Day has come and gone, but the weeklong “Loves Me” or “Loves Me Not” series on PYMNTS.com is just beginning. The second stop for the Market Platform Dynamics team is social commerce: loves me or loves me not?
Karen Webster: Loves Me
What’s not to love about social commerce? When done well, it will allow me to get exclusive offers from the merchants I like and follow in a place that is capturing more of my time and attention: Facebook. In an otherwise time-challenged world, the ability to go to one place, my Facebook news feed, to see offers and then transact right there saves me time. And, if merchants really leverage the power of the channel, they can curate offers and serve me the things that I really want instead of blasting me with the same e-mails that everyone on their e-mail mailing list gets, which just clutters my inbox and increasingly motivates me to unsubscribe. The really cool thing is that I, like most everyone else, will pay attention to what my friends say about offers and products and check out products from merchants that I have never heard of, because I trust my friends’ judgment. It’s early days for sure, sort of like where the Internet was in the early 1990s but a no-brainer for merchants who want to lower the cost of customer acquisition and consumers who seem eager to transact in a place that they seem to ”like” more and more.
Tim Attinger: Loves Me Not
Social media has become the darling of the Internet, with explosive growth in users, applications, services and external developers creating even more explosive growth in users. If I am a social media platform, I am truly a network effect gem. With so many admirers, who could possibly “love me not?” Well, traditional and emerging media advertisers, that’s who. With business models built on controlling, prioritizing and managing messages to consumers and access to content, the relative free-form coming-from-all-angles dialogues on social media platforms create a challenge. It’s getting harder for marketing companies to make money selling services for search engine optimization, keyword prioritization and search retargeting when consumers are having free-form conversations about clients’ products without them. Emerging technology marketers are showing up to that conversation as well, organizing consumers into buying collectives and pitching discounts back at advertising clients, proving ROI in a way that search engine and online advertising platforms never really have. Driving consumer interest in goods and demand for services is increasingly an exercise in fostering a conversation rather than displaying search results. In the process, online advertising is evolving from the equivalent of a digital magazine page (search) to a digital cocktail party (social). And who doesn’t love connecting at a cocktail party? Well, maybe those who on this Valentine’s Day find themselves on the outside looking in.
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Filed Under: Payments, Social Networks