The Future of eCommerce and Social Media

eCommerce and Social Media

Dane O’Leary

Like a digital Big Bang, the Internet exploded in the 1990s, becoming a mainstream commodity that connected us with people, services, products, and companies we might never have known about otherwise. With the subsequent advent of eCommerce and social media, there have been countless purchases made and cyber-friendships to have blossomed, made possible by the digital landscape of the World Wide Web.

There’s no denying that online shopping and social networks are poised to usurp the brick-and-mortar retail and face-to-face social interactions that were mainstays of yesteryear. In fact, eCommerce mega-giant Amazon and social maven Facebook will turn 25 and 15 years old, respectively, at some point in the next year. Will we be seeing such iconic brands maintaining the ubiquity cultivated over two decades, or will there be significant evolution in the worlds of eCommerce and social media between now and the not-too-distant future?

Where is eCommerce headed?

It used to be that we made our purchases at brick-and-mortar stores. When we needed to buy something — whether groceries, clothes, or a birthday gift — we had to get in the car, drive to a retail store, shop for whatever item we needed, buy the item, and return home. Remember that?

If your answer is “No,” you’re not alone. There’s a growing population of individuals who came of age after the digital Big Bang, meaning that eCommerce (i.e., shopping online) was already well-established by the time they were old enough to make their own purchases. So rather than transitioning from brick-and-mortar to eCommerce retail, these younger generations have always been able to buy things from the comfort of their own homes, or even when they’re on-the-go by using their smartphones.

There’s no discussing the world of eCommerce without mentioning Amazon, which dominates with an estimated 41 percent of the eCommerce marketing. In just the next few years, Amazon is poised to account for over half of all web-based retail.

But there’s another reason why Amazon is significant.

Having started in 1994 as an online book retailer, Amazon evolved. Over its 25-year tenure, the retail has grown to become the biggest online general retailer, offering a diverse array of products and brands. So a large part of Amazon’s success has been due to the fact that the retail offers virtually every type of product and even a diverse selection of services, including cloud storage, eBook publishing, streaming media, and the list goes on and on.

So as we attempt to gaze into our crystal ball to see what lies ahead for the world of eCommerce, perhaps Amazon’s evolution and growth can serve as a guide.

As mentioned above, Amazon was able to dominate the market by diversifying its catalog of products and services, so we could start seeing similar diversification among other players in the eCommerce space. Or from the perspective of a consumer, we could see consolidation as products, services, and even other established brands are folded into other companies. Ultimately, this would turn numerous transactions into one larger, more convenient transaction.

Of course, even with eCommerce being a driving force for retail at large, there’s are still some hurdles to jump, and one hurdle is particularly important: customer experience.

Sure, online shopping is more convenient, but you don’t get the kind of personalized experience that you might get when shopping in an actual, physical retail store. In many ways, the convenience of online shopping comes at a significant reduction in overall experience. But it seems like some there might already be a solution to this problem.

Social media: The “secret sauce” of eCommerce?

We’re already seeing countless industries — particularly those that are centered around digital products and services — turning to social media for things like marketing and building brand awareness. But as we move into the future, social media could have an increasingly prominent role in eCommerce, too.

When someone buys a product online, receives the product, and is extremely happy with that product, what is he or she likely to do next? If you said “Review the product,” you’d be correct.

Peer reviews have become a major driver of consumer interest and sales. We’ve all done it: Before making a purchase, you do a web search for reviews of that product to see what people are saying about it and to make sure past buyers haven’t had bad experiences before investing your own cash.

Social media is more and more a forum for sharing thoughts, experiences, and overall impressions of products and services. In fact, many retail leaders have already recognized how social media can drive sales and use the analytics from social media when crafting their marketing campaigns.

So in the future, we’re likely to continue to see social media playing a pivotal role in eCommerce. We might even reach the point of being able to make our online purchases right from the social posts that feature the desired products and services. This is something that might be coming down the pipeline sooner rather than later, especially as the eCommerce giants aim to make it easier for people to quickly buy the products and services they’re seeing on social media.

 

Dane O’Leary is a writer, tech journalist and regular contributor to TrustRadius where he shares his knowledge on the latest trends in B2B news and technologies. He has written editorials, articles, and blog posts for some of the most popular publications on the web, including Android Authority, Phone Arena, NeilPatel.com, and Millennial Magazine while also publishing regularly on his own website.

 

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We have been publishing newsletters for years. Yours can be next.

If your client came across a contact who needed your services would they refer you? How do you position yourself to be at the forefront of their minds?

newsletters

 

 

 

 

Believe it or not, a regular newsletter can do just that. Sharing interesting, relevant and even funny news with clients and prospects is a good thing.

We’ve been writing newsletters for years. For one of our award-winning brands, we produce a monthly newsletter. Well, just about every month. Because sometimes no one wants a newsletter during the summer or in the middle of a busy time. Your clients may only want one every quarter.

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Here is this year’s collection:

Feel free to leaf through more. Need more convincing? Read a newsletter we wrote for the Swedish Life Sciences community on entering MENA and one for a consultancy serving Sweden and the UK.

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The truth is we love to write, we write well, and we want to write more. Our pricing is transparent and so are we. Surely you have news to share, something to say and someone who wants to hear from you. We certainly want to hear from you.

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Sweden and the UK: Business as Usual

Business as Usual

Last week I had the opportunity to attend an event hosted by the Swedish Chamber of Commerce for the United Kingdom: Welcome to the UK.

Business as Usual
Photos courtesy of SCC to the UK

Participants heard from the British Ambassador to Sweden. His main message was that between Sweden and Britain, it is business as usual. The uncertainty inherent in Brexit has not put a damper on business in this regard.

Business as Usual
Photos courtesy of SCC to the UK

SEB presented a summary of a survey jointly conducted with Deloitte titled What is in the minds of Swedish and British CFOs?  My main take away is there is confidence on both sides – much much more than when Brexit was first decided.

Visit Sweden and VisitBritain talked about how Brexit might affect future trends in tourism. Swedes spend TONS of money in the UK and visits to London top the list. It seems the Brits need a bit more convincing that Sweden is a lot more than cold and dark.

Vistra, presented a brief guide to the Formation and Evolution of a Business in the UK, and two lawyers from  J A Kemp tried to answer the question What is IP and why should a start-up care?. Somethings seem straightforward while others don’t. Don’t do it alone, get expert advice.

Business as Usual
Photos courtesy of SCC to the UK

The evening began and concluded with good old fashion networking. The Chamber has been hosting this event for 11 years. Never has the future of this business relationship felt so uncertain because of Brexit.  Thank goodness for the global Chambers of Commerce. Their expertise and network provide invaluable opportunities to learn and talk. Two fundamentals I can appreciate.

Business as Usual
Photos courtesy of SCC to the UK

There I am, 3rd from the right, talking as usual. One highlight of the evening was the engaging conversation with several attendees in from England.

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By country – The Most Valuable Brands of 2018

What is Brand Value? According to Seth GodinA brands value is merely the sum total of how much extra people will pay, or how often they choose, the expectations, memories, stories and relationships of one brand over the alternatives.

Here is a graphic of the Top Global Brands courtesy of TopBrands.net.

brand value

Still not sure what brand value is?  David Brier suggests you ask these questions. Feel free to switch out the name of a brand, destination, athlete or retailer to one for which you have a passion:

  • What made the iPhone so valuable in the eyes of consumers?
  • What makes a Porsche or a Tesla so revered with avid fans?
  • What makes Disney Theme Parks timelessly enduring?
  • What made the iPad a must-have?
  • What made Michael Jordan such a valuable basketball player?
  • What makes Nordstroms’ customer service so legendary?
  • What makes certain food items insatiably desirable?
  • Or certain restaurants? Or chefs?
  • Or certain shopping destinations?
  • Or certain hotels, venues and cities?
  • Or certain actors of artists?

Are you starting to understand brand value and how elusive it is? And just to drive it home David Brier give this analogy.

To appreciate this fully, what if you or I had the ability to generate as much money as wanted. (I’m talking totally legal! Just imagine as an exercise in magic as in “Poof! A pile of cash!”) Or being able to cook the most amazing meals like Bobby Flay? Or be able to dunk like Jordan?

Instantly, these things and people (money, cooking, dunking the basketball) would become less valuable because they were readily available.

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Grant Thornton Kvinnligt nätverk- Svea20

Are you a sustainable leader?

Grant Thornton’s Women’s Network is a good reason to get up an be somewhere at 7.30 in the morning.

Sophia Sundberg

The main question was What is a sustainable leadership?

Ready to learn and network.

One possible answer:

  • Autonomy

  • Mastery

  • Purpose

I enjoy these networking breakfasts because I force myself to sit with strangers, speak Swedish, learn something new and enjoy being in the company of women in business.

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Kvinnligt nätverk: EQ – en framgångsfaktor i ledarskapet

I am a true believer in networking but also believe that it should have added value.

Kvinnligt nätverk: EQ - en framgångsfaktor i ledarskapet

Grant Thornton has figured that out too and created two professional networks for women.

Kvinnligt nätverk: EQ - en framgångsfaktor i ledarskapet

One network met this week and was treated to a presentation about EQ by Amazing Leaders.

Kvinnligt nätverk: EQ - en framgångsfaktor i ledarskapet

The premise of the evening’s lesson was emotional capital will distinguish one company from another and those leaders who have high EQ and develop that within their team will leave their competitors behind.

Kvinnligt nätverk: EQ - en framgångsfaktor i ledarskapet

After performing several exercises, participating in discussions, and learning from others we were invited to network over drinks and really nice food. It was dinner time after all. I left with a few business cards, a feeling of empowerment and the knowledge that, that was time well spent.

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Best way to debut in Stockholm after a 4 year absence?

Multi-Chamber Seminar & Mingle

Multi-Chamber Seminar & Mingle

Attending the AmCham Sweden, Chamber Trade Sweden, the French-Swedish Chamber of Commerce, and the British-Swedish Chamber of Commerce in-depth discussion on current free trade practices, of course.

Multi Chamber Mingle
Representatives from Chamber Trade Sweden, British-Swedish Chamber of Commerce, French-Swedish Chamber of Commerce and AmCham Sweden
Multi-Chamber Seminar & Mingle
Discussion moderator David Landes

The lively panel discussion was moderated by David Landes. David Landes is Head of Commercial Content at The Local Europe, a Stockholm-based network of English-language news sites. He joined The Local in 2008, serving as editor of The Local Sweden from 2010 to 2014. Prior to joining The Local, he worked in commercial and public diplomacy at the U.S. Embassy in Stockholm and the Meridian International Center in Washington, DC.

Multi-chamber Seminar & Mingle
Johan Norberg

The seminar opened with Johan Norberg defending trade by saying it is because of global trade that 9% of the world’s population lives in extreme poverty which is less than 1.25 billion people. That is a decrease of 1/2 over the last 25 years. Johan Norberg is an author, lecturer and documentary filmmaker. He lectures about entrepreneurship, global trends, and globalization around the world. Johan has received several prestigious awards and is a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute in Washington D.C. and the European Centre for International Political Economy in Brussels. His most recent book, the celebrated Progress: Ten Reasons to Look Forward to the Future (2016) was chosen as the Book of the Year by The Economist, Guardian, and Observer. www.johannorberg.net

Multi-chamber seminar & mingle
Patricia Kempff

Bringing in the perspective of a global company with Swedish and Swiss roots, Patricia Kempff is head of Public Affairs at ABB Sweden where she is supporting business interests to implement the company’s strategy towards key stakeholders in the public sphere. Patricia has a broad network within the Swedish public opinion and socioeconomic communities. She previously served as the Chief Operating Officer of Public Affairs at Swedbank with responsibility for community engagement and community relations. Patricia has also worked for government agencies and within non-profit organizations.

Multi-chamber seminar & mingle
Tanja Rasmusson

Tanja Rasmusson is the Director of the WTO (World Trade Organization) Department at the National Board of Trade in Sweden. Tanja previously served in the office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where she was State Secretary working alongside the Minister of Development, Hillevi Engström. As State Secretary, Tanja was responsible for implementing government aid policy and coordinating it with trade and foreign policy.  She shed insight on what nations want.

Multi-chamber seminar & mingle
HOW TO SURVIVE THE WAR ON FREE TRADE: MULTI-CHAMBER SEMINAR & MINGLE panelists & moderator

I was definitely back in Stockholm where the panel was gender balanced and the participants were cool, poised and stylish.

Multi-chamber seminar & mingle
Some of the HOW TO SURVIVE THE WAR ON FREE TRADE: MULTI-CHAMBER SEMINAR & MINGLE attendees

The seminar, held at United Spaces, was fully booked.

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