How Facebook’s Open Graph could take f-commerce to a whole new level

So did you get up at the crack of dawn to get your free Wimpy breakfast last week? I didn’t, but driving into work I did hear it being discussed at large on various radio stations and they too shared my sentiment of not fully understanding the fascination and dedication of people to get up so early, use their petrol and rush to stand in a queue for breakfast that would have cost them less than R20.

The human race fascinates me. But at the same breath, after reading some of the top predicted social media trends for 2012 I have to admit that the level of technological advances in the last decade does indicate some degree of intelligence.

There are a number of interesting, and extremely relevant trends that I am sure we can expect to explode this year. One that really stuck out for me is the development of social commerce.

According to Dreamgrow:

Social commerce will become popular on mobile devices. The partnership between eBay and Facebook will lead us into a new era in eCommerce where you can directly purchase from your Facebook account.

With the introduction of Facebook’s mobile platform social commerce will become popular on mobile devices. Facebook’s Open Graph language will also let you directly purchase with Facebook credits based on recommendations by your friends.

It will be interesting when Facebook links up with the likes of eBay and watch this space!

In years gone by it would have been deemed ludicrous to buy anything through Facebook. Well those days are long gone.

Integrating Facebook’s new Open Graph functionality into its commerce platforms will allow it to build new social shopping experiences for consumers, and retailers, like never before.

Essentially “Open Graph Functionality” in conjunction with “Facebook timeline” is the latest social app that allows users to show things they like to do on their timelines.

The spinoff of this is that brands, retailers and other merchants will be able to offer their customers ways to connect with friends through shopping.

“Technology is changing the way consumers shop, and eBay Inc.’s integration with Facebook will make shopping social for consumers and retailers worldwide,” said Matthew Mengerink, Vice President and General Manager of X.commerce.

Katie Mitic, Director of Platform and Mobile Marketing at Facebook went on to say “Integrating Facebook Open Graph technology across eBay’s global commerce platforms represents a powerful way to bring people together across an inherently social activity — shopping.”

For me this is the beauty of f-commerce — the reality that people are now able to share and discuss purchases, online, in real-time, when and with whoever they want. It’s already evident that consumers like to get others’ perspectives and opinions before making a purchase and social commerce provides the perfect platform to get instant feedback from peers and friends alike.

In earlier years this would have only really applied to major big-ticket purchase items. Consumers can now go as far as to discuss, down to the colour, any specific item they wish to purchase online with close (or even not so close) friends to get their opinion before they buy.

What will be even more interesting is if retailers develop a program to let consumers “try out” items in the digital space and to be able to ask others questions about what they think before deciding to purchase.

Why is it that in most instances people go in pairs or groups to the mall when they go shopping? Because people like to get others’ opinions. We often don’t trust our own gut and need reassurance from someone else that we are making the right decision.

F-commerce seems to be the next step in the evolution of taking your friends shopping with you.

Nikki Cockcroft Head of Online for Woolworths, a leading South African retailer that is itself embracing f-commerce, reckons that the serice could offer people “a convenient, hassle-free and of course, pleasant shopping experience — no matter where they are — at work, at home or stuck in traffic.”

Now that’s the kind of service I could get used to.



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