Would you buy something directly off a tweet?
Twitter themselves are not convinced either. So much so, they’ve just disbanded their commerce team. The buy button however is ‘still active for the time being, … [and Twitter will] “increase” its investment in e-commerce by “moving fully into dynamic product ads.”‘
In theory, letting consumers buy directly within a social network makes sense. Especially over mobile.
Without Buy buttons: 1) We’re forced away from a fast, personalised, logged-in experience to a slow, anonymous and often cumbersome commerce website. 2) We then have to enter payment and shipping info.
Meanwhile, for the retailer: 1) High cart abandonment rates and wasted ad dollars, 2) The pain of having to setup and maintain payment and shipping logistics.
The opportunity for tech platforms is clear: 1) A slice of the ever-burgeoning eCommerce market, 2) Prove that ads lead to sales, boosting price of those ads, 3) Keeping users on their platforms for longer, 4) Expanding the relationship with users as they become consumers – and adding even more data points.
Hardly surprising then that all the big social networks have been experimenting with Buy buttons for at least a year with mixed success – so far.
Pinterest and Instagram launched Buy buttons in June 2015. Tap and pay with Apple Pay or a credit card, within the app.
Snapchat has been testing shoppable ads over the past few months, and it’s interactive nature may give it an advantage.
Facebook has integrated buy buttons into its news feed and the shop section in company pages.
Meanwhile, Google has been testing as part of search & YouTube ads.
Amazon however is the dark horse in this race, and arguably the best placed to succeed.
Despite the huge potential for social commerce, we’re not there just yet…
It’s almost like it’s too easy.
Could there be a reluctance to cede even more control to social networks?
Could it be that while we love to share ideas and recommendations with friends we’re just not ready to take that last step?
Time will tell, but I suspect there is huge potential for social buying, just in ways we cannot yet foresee.
As the ROI on traditional online advertising continues to fall, there’s a big focus right now on so-called influencer marketing. Adelyn Zhou discusses how it works, what it costs and tools to help you get started.
Customer Experience & the Bottom Line
A recent study of the top 500 of the Forbes Global 2000 shows that executives find that improving customer experience is fundamental to future success. Meanwhile, nearly two thirds of customers are highly unlikely to return following a poor customer experience. The lesson for startups is clear…
Steal your Competitors’ Customers
Larry Kim gives us some excellent tactics for using digital advertising to identify and lure away customers from your closest competitors. Just be careful not to overdo it!
Global Fintech Funding in Q1 2016
KPMG/CBInsights find global investment in private fintech companies was US$5.7 billion in Q1’16. Of this, $4.9 billion was VC-money across 218 deals, a 96 percent funding jump compared to the same quarter last year.
Growth vs. Profitability?
Amidst dire warnings about how funding is about to dry up and how startups need to return to fundamentals & profitability, Jeff Bussgang (2x entrepreneur, Harvard Business School lecturer & VC investor) warns would-be and VC-funded entrepreneurs that growth still matters.
Make Money to Exit
Steve Blank (god-father of the Lean startup movement) takes the opposite view to Jeff, arguing that “The role of venture capital was to teach you how to turn your idea into a profitable company. The role of venture capital now is the greater fool theory.“. In short, if you want an exit: make money.
The Block’Chain saw Massacre
$6 billion a year is how much Goldman Sachs reckons Blockchain technology can cut the costs of clearing and settlement of cash securities. They see massive cost-saving opportunities (job losses!) in many areas from US energy markets, anti-money laundering (AML) and know-your-customer (KYC) compliance to identity management in the lodging industry.
Fintech Isn’t Working!
Charlie Warzel at BuzzFeed walks us through why the current state of paying for stuff with the latest fintech toys is a complete mess. He likens it to a chaotic building site. I see it more like a global real-time petri dish into which we’re all increasingly being immersed. Most of these experiments (and startups) of course will fail but a few will prevail and change the game forever. A great read.
Is Google Unstoppable?
Shoshana Zuboff (Charles Edward Wilson Professor, Emerita, Harvard Business School) writes, “Governmental control is nothing compared to what Google is up to. The company is creating a wholly new genus of capitalism, a systemic coherent new logic of accumulation we should call surveillance capitalism. Is there nothing we can do?”
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