Some old fashioned people like me prefer local bazaars over the sprawling malls that have suddenly sprung up all over the place. The mall culture is something that spells convenience of the superlative degree. However, it lacks the colors, tradition and community feel that a local shop offers. I do not scorn or despise malls; however, I would never trade discounts and variety for the warmth of some known face addressing me by my childhood name and prompting me to buy something for myself, my family or the occasion. It’s the “know me” factor that has prompted many like me to buy things from places that excel in it rather than for the products they sell.
We, at this stage, have a very mature and diverse eCommerce structure offering customers huge discounts, more variety, easy navigation, quick checkout and convenience to shop. Do we have something with a high “know me” factor? Yes we do, and best part is – it exceeds our expectations by many a mile. According to a research “Facebook knows you better than your family”. The technology has advanced to a stage where based on your “social activities” a computer can determine your personality better than your closest friends or family.
How can we leverage the “know me” factor of social media to improve the shopping experience of eCommerce that we have today? To put it straight, how can you drag old fashioned people like me to ecommerce web sites? The answer lies in the marriage of social media and ecommerce. When I visit an ecommerce site it prompts me to buy my favorite brand of woolen trousers for the coming winter, reminds me to buy a birthday gift for my wife that she likes (that’s the hardest part) or notifies me of the purchases that my friend has made the previous minute, so that before he can boast about it I can outshine him with my purchase. Social ecommerce can do it all: forecast, predict, create and measure sales, and provide after sales support.
Will I still stick to my local shop? For the time being…yes.