Marketing Trend reports continue to suggest that online retailers have a huge opportunity to use social networks as a sales channel.
Most of these internet retailers are attempting to use traditional advertising methods and static pages to reach out to the connected-groups on the web. This approach has yielded a mixed result, due to the unique nature of social network usage.
In one trend report the author suggested that…“A critical challenge remains the ability to effectively harness the marketing intelligence inherent in the way people communicate and interact with one another through the digital medium and make it actionable”.
Since most of the social web is built as a mimic of social interactions from the real world, we might find an actionable e-commerce solution the same way.
We know that people purchase things for each other desiring to ether give support or to build up a relationship. The act of delivering the item carries the non-verbal message that someone cares enough to sacrifice money, thought and time for someone else.
When this delivery is completed in person, the added verbal communication, facial expressions and physical contact reinforces the message. It is hard to beat going to Target, wrapping a gift and then showing up on the doorstep of someone you love.
The disconnected nature of e-commerce takes this physical interaction from the process, loosing some of the impact of the message.
Social networks and e-Retailers are trying to find solutions to this disconnect, and they will eventually find a good mimic.
The answer will come as we apply more of the product distribution activities we use in our real social life to the process.
Any great ideas?