eCommerce has grown exponentially over the years. New eCommerce brands are sprouting in every nook and corner around the globe, while the established ones continue to fortify their hold on existing markets and forage into newer economies. The prime reason for this is that consumers now have higher disposable incomes – “have money, will spend.” In such a lucrative market scenario, how could technology and internet giants be left behind? Google, Twitter, Apple and Facebook, to name a few, are players looking to sink their teeth into the eCommerce pie. These companies are partnering with and in some cases even acquiring firms, which will enable them to provide users with a one-stop shopping/payment experience.
Apple recently introduced Apple Pay, an NFC based payment system that will render credit cards immaterial. Google Shopping has been around for over a decade under different aliases, but the search engine giant has stepped on the gas pedal in the last year or so; they are now looking to compete with the likes of Amazon. Both pioneers in Social Commerce, Twitter and Facebook have been experimenting with Native Commerce over the past few years – right from encouraging merchants to allow users to use hashtags to initiate a sale, setting up native store fronts, plugin-based social purchase experience and to very recently, the add to cart buttons. Twitter has also recently tied up with a French bank to allow customers to transfer money with just a tweet. However, the biggest game-changer is the introduction of the Buy Button. Both Facebook and Twitter have partnered with Stripe, to provide users with a truly Native Commerce experience. This means that a user can now buy a product which they see on Facebook or Twitter with just a few taps, without having to leave the app interface. Both networks are currently beta testing this feature with select users.
What does this mean for the users? More intrusive ads and action buttons of course. But it also means more convenience. Native commerce will seamlessly integrate with the user’s social feed. Imagine a day when Apple fan-bois and fan-gals won’t have to camp outside an Apple Store to get their hands on a new Apple product. “Ooh, the iPhone 7 is out? Me wants!” Buy now and voila, order placed! What this also means for all those prodigal sons and daughters is that their wallets are going to get dearer. As for the future of eCommerce and Native Commerce is concerned – onwards and upwards!
I leave with you an interesting infographic that tells the Social Commerce story so far.