If you don’t believe in the future of social commerce, this post isn’t for you. If you still think social could serve as an avenue for shopping transactions, the idea that China could take the reigns and lead the way to social commerce business models is an interesting one.
After all, China has come a long way in adopting e-commerce in just a few short years. Hamid Sirhan writes:
When I lived in China 2006/2007, it was nigh impossible to order physical goods online – trust in infrastructure was simply not yet there. The impressive growth in e-commerce sales indicates a greater trust in China’s postal network and e-commerce sites.
The issue of trust is important in marketing to Chinese consumers. Peer-to-peer recommendations have a more profound impact, as the McKinsey report says this is likely due to a distrust of formal institutions. Building networks of trusted influencers – not as a commodity but as groups of people who can and will trust your products and messages – will be crucial to online interaction with Chinese netizens.
Sirhan goes on to say that this environment is ripe for innovations in social commerce, and I agree. All this makes total sense, but I can’t help but wonder how/if the Chinese version of social commerce will translate immediately to the drastically different social landscape of the Western world.
Whatever the case, I’ve always maintained that someone will crack the social commerce code, and I’m not just talking about more special offers and 20% off discounts. I’m talking about an entirely new way to shop. A means for buying online that affects commerce the same way Zynga transformed the world of gaming and social media.