One of the greatest benefits to social commerce tools, practices and procedures is the added capabilities to engage and therefore retain customers.  With the downward spiral of traditional retail stores and malls the retention of customers has been one of the losses to the large legacy retailers.  For the longest time malls provided a vehicle to engage customers and retain their focus and purchasing practices to their brand.  Now though one of the results of the social network evolution is the death death of the mall for social interaction.  The mall in the suburbs then turns into a ghost town that is only inhabited by teens with no outlet or easy means to gather and the biggest problem with this demographic is the limited purchasing interest in anything other than fast food and entertainment. 

 

Real estate developers are forced to find new methods for these large malls to survive and many are turning into entertainment and restaurant centers to survive.  I have no idea where this will end because the experimentation with potential changes continues now in a shifting environment of demands and interest.  These results are also being shaped now by a resurgence in multi-purpose living arrangements in cities where large areas of old warehouse and factory tracts are turned into lofts and apartments for living with a shopping included in the development for entertainment and groceries.  These developments are expanding and shifting in purpose and interest while the large shopping malls and especially the anchor stores in these malls re-think and remake the mall through either redevelopment or abandoning for new purposes.

 

This is where social commerce comes into the picture with a means for consumers to group in social shopping networks with their friends and family.  One key outcome of these results is dramatically enhanced retention of consumers.  One of the key retention tools for eCommerce retailers such as Amazon is their reach across geographic areas and the depth of their product offering.  This is a compelling tool for customers and families that are spread across geographic areas because they can shop together electronically and then purchase and delivery to any address.  This single capability in my opinion is the single greatest reason for the increase in social shopping and purchasing.

 

The second greatest reason for the increase in social commerce shopping end the inherent retention of customers is the changing lifestyles of people and the dramatic reduction of time during normal business hours for shopping and purchasing.  Social commerce keeps calling people back because they can shop at any time from the comfort of their home and not worry about coordinating time for these purchases, this is  a very compelling reason to change shopping and purchasing practices.

 

And now for the audience participation portion of the show…

ECommerce will have wide ranging impacts on both the retail and manufacturing sectors.  How can you focus these abilities to improve the consumer's experience?  Improving the consumer’s experience will require a re-evaluation of the sales channels, the manufacturing channels and practices and the supply chain channels and practices from the raw materials to the consumers’ homes.  In order to ensure and maintain success in this new reality you must harness the tools and capabilities in many new areas.  How can you support these continuously changing requirements?