The Future of Internet Marketing: Social Commerce
Let me look deep into my crystal ball and make some predictions about the future of internet marketing. I see…
Okay, so there is no crystal ball, or other form of hokum to predict the future. But through word of mouth, internet hype, and intriguing rumors, it is possible to guess how the internet marketing landscape could be changed in the coming months and years.
As a teenager, one of my favorite hangout spots was the mall. Even if my friends and I didn’t buy anything beyond an Orange Julius or a Wetzel’s Pretzels, we still had fun kickin’ it and looking at all of the new merchandise. When we did have money, following Christmas or a birthday, we would quickly spend it on new shoes, video games, clothing, DVDs or whatever fad item was trending that week.
Today, I can do most of my shopping from home. Although it is impossible to try on shirts to make sure they fit, for the most part this is a more efficient way to purchase stuff.
Except I miss out on the camaraderie.
While I won’t deny that I’m miserable when a trip to the mall with my girlfriend for new socks turns into a five-hour affair of trying on ties and slacks for her cousin’s wedding to “the girlfriend who is half his age who is and has nothing in common and is only marrying him for his money,” I will also admit that I really love the time we spend outside the apartment, at least the first two hours, before the strain of shopping overwhelms me and I hide in the dressing room playing Angry Birds.
So how could I combine my love of social interaction with my lethargic position on standing up?
Two words: Web Mall
Imagine if there was a way to mix Amazon, Facebook, and Skype into one delicious recipe of social ecommerce. I could experience that thrill of browsing the mall with my buddies or girlfriend, but from the comfortable vibrating leather cushions of my lounge chair. Well, this fantasy could be reality soon enough, via Web Mall.
Turns out Zuckerberg and crew are developing this exact idea for Facebook. This new feature will allow you to video chat with companions while looking through catalogs of ecommerce websites, in an attempt to simulate the experience of a mall.
It will presumably incorporate group-buying discounts, so the more people you shop with, the more you save! Finally, a real excuse for making all of those virtual friends!
If successful, look for Facebook to overthrow the reign of current ecommerce king, Amazon.
And how could this Web Mall idea not be a huge triumph? It simply combines things that people already love doing online! It would be like telling me that I could fuse fantasy football with pictures of kittens! Which is a completely made-up idea, but I’m already sold!
So here it is ladies and gentlemen, the future of internet shopping is social ecommerce. Now if only they could find a way to get Wetzel’s Pretzels into my living room…
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