Social Commerce - could Amazon eventually crack it?

Hayden Sutherland was involved in the early days of web development and has been pivotal in the implementation of some of the largest and most highly regarded sites on the internet.

His expertise covers online projects for organisations such as Nestlé, RBS, The Metropolitan Police and Philips and he has previously held senior roles such as Head of e-Business for P&O Ferries, Head of Project Management for a Top 10 Global Digital Agency and Technical Director at several online businesses. He has also won several awards including the British Interactive Media Association award for best financial services website.

For the last five years he has run Ideal Interface, an eCommerce and Digital Marketing consultancy based in Scotland. Although predominantly consulting in the retail sector (River Island, AllSaints Clothing, Sainsbury’s, etc.) the company has now built up a number of clients in the financial services, travel & tourism and other vertical markets.

He can usually be found Tweeting about anything from Social Media, eCommerce and multi-channel attribution through to reality TV contestants and the weather in Glasgow @haydens30

The Return On Investment (ROI) of Social Media is something a lot of digital marketers and brands have been battling with over the last few years, as Facebook, Twitter and other platforms have grown to become the way that a whole generation (or two) of web users now live and work. Consequently Social Commerce, the proposed integration of Social Media and e-commerce, has been seen as one way of monetising this channel.

Could Amazon integrate e-commerce and social media?

Yes, Facebook has tried to monetize its business by games and the commission on its Facebook Credits, of which it pockets 30% on all in-app purchases. But it has not successfully integrated digital commerce in any major way into its platform… Despite the promise that Facebook would provide a new destination for people to collaboratively shop, F-Commerce has yet to materialise and may never. As one Forrester Research analyst famously quoted "But it was like trying to sell stuff to people while they’re hanging out with their friends at the bar.”

So step forward Amazon, which recently announced the arrival of Amazon Pages… its own way of allowing brands to have their own social area on (along with a vanity URL) that not only promotes products, but also allows the posting of 140 character messages onto the page (that can also be cross-posted onto your Facebook page too). How handy and familiar this all seems…

In making the link between e-commerce and Social Media, could it be Amazon that eventually gets Social Commerce right? Well, it seems they could be a worthy contender if they can get the balance between social content and retailing correct.

Although whether the world needs yet another social platform right now is anyone’s guess.

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