Social isn’t a sales channel

IBM latest “State of Marketing 2012” report is quite disturbing, a high-rise for mobile commerce (representing 15% of all online sales), but a steep decline for social commerce (down with 20%, only representing 1,9% of total online sales).  While most companies are installing social as a sales channel, research shows that social can’t be seen as a separate sales silo.  So should companies stop investing in social for commerce purposes? Off course not….mobile probably has a lot to do with social as well…but we should stop behaving as if social is a separate commerce channel.  Social should be integrated in every sales channel as an over layer on commerce (connecting the peer – peer network).

Why is mobile commerce booming and social failing (for the moment)?
Easy, mobile is convenient, and our mindset still isn’t social although the value proposition is clear: making shoppers smarter.  Learn from people in your network and become a smarter shopper.  If this value proposition can be cracked than social commerce will probably take a high-rise (as well).

But for now mobile is easy and convenient – right at our fingertips whenever we want it! IBM research shows that marketers still need to see the bigger integrated picture when taking mobile.  For now mobile as most of the time an ad hoc strategy, while integration in the commerce system is the future of a good mobile strategy.
Social still is in the early stage, and a true social business is far away.  Only 18% has social buying possibilities for the moment, while 66% has pages third-party social network sites (like Facebook)….but collaboration and user-generated content is less incorporated in the commercial strategy.

What will near future bring?
Less on social and more on mobile….but mobile already shows nice results with ad hoc strategy (budget) being used.  So why not invest in a smart integrated mobile strategy together with a true social integration. With a clear integrated strategy social isn’t a sales channel, but a cross integrated platform used in all commerce channels.

Sources:
Social Commerce Today – IBM: Mobile Commerce booms to 15,1%, Social Commerce falls to 1,9%
Image – http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-qu5x6wUwRQ4/TvdZHGJzTiI/AAAAAAAACOI/DvctkHdW1Qw/s1600/socialnetwork.jpg

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Posted in Flat Business
6 comments on “Social isn’t a sales channel
  1. Hans Francken says:

    Social marketing is the future, although a lot of companies are using it in the wrong way. One should be able to observe what clients are saying about their product, then facilitate the way to connect to each other. Participating in the conversation will be the last step. They should care more about brand awareness on Social then just focusing on sales figures.

  2. I completely aggree. Alot of companies don’t get the bigger picture. They focus too hard on social as a seperate commerce channel. I hope they understand that it is necessary to fuse every commerce channel with social so that it forms one whole.

    They should start realizing that we changed and that selling alot of products without learning from the customers isn’t an option. If they do that they could sell alot more then now and make all the customers happy.

  3. pauwelsnick says:

    Social marketing is indeed the future! The most companies that know how you have to use it but they try it and the effect is that they reached a other goal because they don’t have the base of conversation management. If you want more costumers you have to listen too your costumers, “the word of mouth”. But than you have to do something with the reaction from the costumers and participating in the conversation of your costumers! Companies has to take social media serious.

  4. Nicholas bellon says:

    As said in the article, people become smarter shoppers, but they also become aware how to use technology more efficiently. For instance the use of Adblock Plus or DoNotTrackMe on Firefox. People are getting smarter in bypassing and blocking advertisements on the internet. For now, it is indeed a good idea to focus on mobile marketing, but at some given point in the future, the knowledge in bypassing these mobile ads will be widely spread.

  5. Ahmed EL Bitar says:

    Social Marketing is the step to tommorrow.its the futute.the people when they look for information they go online.now there is no way to say i will work with my company offline and do not use Social Media.

  6. Marc Eberle says:

    For me it isn´t not a sale channel – but without social media the consumer miss something – but mabye not aware….smarter consumer do not excuse missing nowadays!!!

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