Seergate's co-founder and CEO Eldad Aharoni sits in the Briefing Room Hot Seat to answer five burning questions on social commerce. Read his responses below and weigh in with your answers too!
1) Define social commerce and its relevance to social networks and the social network members that they serve.
Eldad Aharoni: In Social Commerce consumers influence over trends and products and are an integral part of the commercial cycle. Social networks, their customer base and the interactivity these provides are a natural hotbed for social commerce. Social networks are cultivating a much more intimate relationship between consumers and businesses where these nurture and influence each other.
2) What is the primary driver for the interest by the networks for some sort of commerce capability?
EA: Social Networks have almost everything in place to become a major powerhouse for global commerce. This is just a natural evolution after the networks have dominated any other activity people used to perform over other platforms, the networks’ in-mail system even surpassed the number of emails sent every day! Commerce will become a major revenue generator and this will be undoubtedly a primary driver.
3) How do you see commerce on social networks changing the user experience on social networks? The social networks themselves?
EA: The user experience in general should not change, but the emergence of commerce will undoubtedly change the way users approach these environments and their requirements for security will grow accordingly, risks for commerce over these open environments are mostly unforeseen yet. Social networks should in any case avoid conflicts of interests between their community and the new role they have embraced as service providers, keeping neutrality while ensuring quality of service in all fronts.
4) How is commerce happening today on social networks? How do you see it evolving over the next 12 – 18 months?
EA: Commercial activities are initiated in part over social networks but completed elsewhere, due to the lack of integration with tools that could facilitate marketing and sales as well as the important last mile: billing and payments. Social networks should leverage their capabilities by benefiting from existing infrastructures, solutions and technologies.
5) What are the three things that a social network has to do to deliver a successful commerce experience to their members?
EA: Create a more clear and defined identity for businesses with commercial purposes, differentiating it from the individual user. Promote the development of applications that support marketing and sale activities, better marketplaces and communication channels between individual and businesses. Define an open platform for payment methods to empower users with choice, control and security.
Eldad Aharoni is the co-founder and CEO of Seergate, the developer and distributor of Secured Lock e-Debit System which enables banks to attract Gen Y users and recapture brand loyalty by facilitating direct P2P bank payments in social networking environments. Company blog here