“Social” Commerce


It’s very, very interesting to me to see how “social shopping” and “social commerce” have emerged as ideas over the past few years. In both cases, the term “social” is obtained directly from social media – which as I’ve written elsewhere, is actually a new and different idea disguised as an old one.

A simplistic way of thinking about it, which I’m not a fan of, is the idea that social shopping is the attempt to recreate the offline shopping experience online. So people can shop online with their friends. According to Wikipedia, ” Social shopping attempts to use technology to mimic the social interactions found in physical malls and stores.” I actually disagree with this. I anticipate that the social interactions found online are going to be quite different from the social interactions found in physical malls and stores. There may be some skeumorphic mimickry- perhaps an app or bot that helps you to suss out a product might be called a “personal shopper”.

I think that’s dumb. I think that’s a failure to appreciate that the medium is the message, and that the new medium requires new approaches, new attitudes, first-principles thinking. More details later.

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