Friday 30 September 2016

Social Commerce: The Grinch that stole Christmas?

The social space online has always fascinated me. Social everything. From social media (of course – I live and breathe it), to social gaming (my twin brother can’t tear himself away from it – COD5 did just get released mind you), to most of all, social commerce. But despite my natural inclination towards this realm (and shopping in general), and a strange uncertain attraction, for some reason it just hasn’t quite clicked with me.

When s-commerce first emerged I was captivated, and I’ve been following closely ever since. I like the Facebook storefront – If I’m following you and I see an update about the new product range, chances are I’ll take a sneak peak if I don’t have to leave my platform of choice. And yes, I might shout about my latest “must have” purchase on the odd occasion. But augmented reality outfit comparisons are just not going to happen (not for me anyway) and I can’t see myself hunting down “that dress” using a fashion detector, or using Facebook Credits at the mall any time soon.

And what do I think of the latest social commerce venture by Australian retail brands this Christmas? I’ll suspend my judgement until after you’ve read the following…

Certain retail brands are offering shoppers the option to tag the presents they want for Christmas this year in-store, register their wish lists, and share them with friends and family on their social networks for the chance to win cash or swag.

Now, some might say this guarantees a happy gift recipient, but others might suggest these campaigns sucks the joy out of thoughtful gift-giving, and the festive spirit right out of Christmas with a swift “Bah Humbug”.

I’ll be the first to admit I’m being a bit of a cynic – maybe it’s because these technologies haven’t quite moved from the novelty to the mainstream. Or maybe it’s just because I’m yet to see the benefits in a real-life situation. I’m not too stubborn to say I won’t ever use any of these services – I’ll never say never, but these latest advances in social commerce seem slightly anti-social to me…

Your thoughts?

Catherine Miller

@CatherineM_EA