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Storkie Express exec: Social commerce will fulfill brand and consumer needs in near future

PALM DESERT, CA – A Storkie Express executive at eTail West 2015 predicted that social commerce – an amalgamation of social networks and checkout processes – will be the next big trend to affect brands and consumers this year, proving that inspiration and consumer communities are key to driving mcommerce.

During the “Keynote: The Future Of Social Commerce” session, the executive claimed that social media, mobile and big data will form the phenomenon of social commerce, which will be helped along by conglomerates in the media world such as Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook. The social networks’ forays into commerce via the “Buy Now” buttons have already put them on the map.

“It’s not sufficient to just provide relevant items,” said David Gudai, chief marketing officer of Storkie Express and founder of Compelation, San Francisco, CA. “You also need to tap into the community and be able to leverage that to empower consumers to connect with each other and create many inspiration centers.

“Social commerce is going to be the next big trend that affects all of us. I think it’s really interesting to focus on what this evolution means.”

Value of social
Mr. Gudai asked brands to think about the value of their Facebook fans. Several years ago, Facebook was simply a vehicle for information that brands could push onto users, while now, it has the potential to become a serious engine of commerce.

“Is Facebook a social network for us, or is it now a new advertising platform?” Mr. Gudai said.

However, he suggested that Facebook’s “Buy Now” button may not be entirely sufficient for brands to rely upon, as it ultimately, it depends how well a marketer is able to integrate social and commerce. It must feel organic for the consumer.

“You can have a round hole and a square peg, and the two will not necessarily connect in the way you think,” Mr. Gudai said.

He also brought to attention the fact that Pinterest may introduce a similar commerce option this year. As Pinterest functions mainly as a source of inspiration for many individuals, this would likely fuel more impulse buys of products that consumers might not be aware they ever needed or wanted.

Two-sided marketplace
The executive predicted that social commerce will ultimately transform the way consumers and brands connect, in a positive way.

He also posited that more universal shopping cart sites and mobile applications may appear soon, which would remove the need for third-party payment solutions such as Apple Pay or PayPal and would allow consumers to purchase directly from one large conglomerate.

“It’s a two sided marketplace, thinking about consumers and brands,” Mr. Gudai said. “On the consumer side, it’s focusing on what the consumers want, what are the core motivators.

“I think that’s where social discovery plays a larger role, where inspiration can be leveraged by a broader audience,” he said.

“On the other side is the brand side. Brands want consumer insights and effective marketing channels. There is something beyond our Web site and our mobile app efforts.

“I think it’s really that combination that will be encompassed on social commerce in a really meaningful way in the coming months and years.”

Final Take
Alex Samuely is an editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York