Social Mobile Commerce: Four Sure-Fire Ways to Sell

Social Mobile Commerce: Four Sure-Fire Ways to Sell

Issue: 

2010, December

Mobile is a new medium, where shoppers consume the data differently from other digital media. To succeed as a brand or retailer you need to think beyond merely shrinking your web commerce strategy to fit on the mobile screen. In fact, you need to rethink altogether what commerce is on this mobile device.
The secret is in combining impulse commerce with the inherently social nature of the mobile phone. In other words, leverage the phone’s built-in social network, while presenting as few barriers to transaction as possible.
Consider four examples of social mobile commerce success today.

  1. Collective Bidding It’s In this decade, EBay’s volume of mobile transactions tripled year-over-year, into the billions. Customers are bidding on 23-foot boats for $19,108 and a Steinway grand piano for $10,000. Not exactly mobile items.
    But, the eBay mobile consumer is also an online consumer. The transaction is a hybrid of online search and tag and mobile bidding. eBay is simply taking advantage of the existing communication channel.
  2. Collective Buying – Crowd Sourcing. Groupon, based on collective buying power, is on track to generate $100 million in gross merchandise sales in 2010—and take a 30-50% cut.
    Like eBay, Groupon is primed to adapt perfectly to mobile and enhance the natural social commerce element. Consumer signs up via online/mobile web for deal alerts by city and category, and provides credit information. Service sends relevant deal via SMS. Consumer replies within a time window to opt in to the deal. When the required number of shoppers sign up, the deal is triggered, billed and the community is immediately notified via SMS.
  3. Collective Recommending. FourSquare adapted a simple sidewalk game to local-based commerce. The user that gets the highest ranking based on visits to participating hotels and restaurants becomes a “mayor,” with certain mayoral benefits.
    Players can start adding friends who also have the app or start collecting points right away. Each week your points are compared against those of all your friends so you can see just how far away you are from the top, or just how close your friends are to usurping your mayoral rank. Because the app is a social network game it now helps the retailer drive recommendation across the user’s social network.
  4. Collective Giving. Facebook is primed for social gifting. Since 2007, Facebook users are estimated to have spent more than $50 million to send virtual presents: flower and little puppy graphics to sticker to their profile pages, Priced at $1 per gift.
    Facebook made $150 million from the gift shop alone last year. Facebook has slowly opening up the gift shop to thirdparty developers in order to increase the variety of products sold through the shop.

    Brands and retailers are investing in mobile. In order to be successful they need to integrate mobile Across their existing media touch points and then actively use the social patterns and social networking that are native to the mobile consumer.

Gary Schwartz is founder of ImpactMobileand author of the upcoming book, Click2Kching: The Mobile Shopper and the ImpulseEconomy. You can reach him by email at Gary.Schwartz@impactmobile.com.

Author: 

Gary Schwartz
Gary Schwartz's picture

Gary Schwartz is founder of ImpactMobileand author of the upcoming book, Click2Kching: The Mobile Shopper and the ImpulseEconomy. You can reach him by email at Gary.Schwartz@impactmobile.com.