Social Shopping Brings Social Graph to eCommerce

By October 02, 2009

An interview with Paul Dunay on eMarketer centers around the future of social shopping. The global managing director of services and social marketing at Avaya, as well as author of "Facebook Marketing for Dummies" had much to say on the next marketing focus of e-commerce. According to Dunay, social commerce is "working with or using your social graph, which is defined as your followers or your friends, and allowing them to help you make buying decisions." Social commerce can be a buying suggestion or recommendation from a brand Twitter account, or many applications of Facebook Connect.

Using Facebook Connect, users can log onto a brand Web site using their Facebook profile. Dunay's example uses, in which a customer's purchase will show up on his friends' news feed. Then people can choose to ask how he finds his new laptop. "You could almost take your friends shopping with you," Dunay says.

With millions of Internet users getting comfortable with Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, the opportunity of using marketing tools like Facebook Connect is about to expand. According to Dunay, in the next 12 to 24 months, new uses for the Facebook API and others will be appearing that he calls "life-changers." The number one combination of search and social-graph: social search.

Another life-changer: Social Amazon. Amazon could easily turn on Facebook Connect and import social graph content. Instead of "Customers who bought this also bought..." users would see the significantly more effective and credible "Your friends who bought this also bought..."

Facebook Connect-enabled Amazon would be more effective than the currently available social shopping sites, such as Kaboodle or StyleHive. While these sites incorporate social networking with buyer recommendations, they are not already embedded into a pre-existing network. To sign up and connect with people interferes with the user interface, whereas Amazon + Facebook have the people and purchases waiting and ready.

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