In our last blog post, we talked about the rise of mobile social commerce and highlighted the primary activities occurring in the space today: social sharing, location-based deals, reviews, and involvement of payment providers in the ecosystem. But what’s going to happen next and what are the upcoming trends in the MoSoCo space? Let’s try to predict the future.
Mobile Wallets Will Get More Social
Though still in a nascent stage, mobile wallets are gaining traction, and with more smartphone manufacturers integrating Near Field Communications (NFC) and mobile payment capabilities, the use of mobile wallets should increase; consulting firm Carlisle and Gallagher predicts that 50% of current smartphone users will use their mobile wallet for daily transactions in three to five years. Big boys like Google, Isis (a joint venture between AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless), and Apple all have skin in the game, while startups like Square and LevelUp are making noise as well. We predict that all these mobile wallets will incorporate social activity more deeply to allow users to share product information right at the point of sale. Both retailers and brands will then offer incentives for their customers to share more often, with hopes of accelerating the viral loop.
Pinterest Will Incorporate More E-commerce Functionality; Facebook and Instagram to Eventually Follow
We already know how influential Pinterest is in referring traffic to brands’ and retailers’ e-commerce sites. But why can’t consumers purchase directly from the site? That’s going to change, and this will be hastened by Japanese Internet retailer Rakuten’s big investment in the leading visual social network. Furthermore, with Pinterest dedicating more and more resources to mobile, this will quickly translate to users’ phones.
Facebook already does a great job integrating e-commerce into its site (coining the term “f-commerce”), and a bold prediction is that they’ll somehow leverage the Instagram acquisition to drive more f-commerce. We can imagine Instagram users snapping pictures of a recent purchase, sharing it on Facebook, then having the images link to the brand’s or retailer’s Facebook page where friends can purchase seamlessly.
More Payment Providers Will Partner with Social Networks to Enable MoSoCo
The success of Amex in the mobile social commerce space will spur other payment providers to partner with social networks. Visa and MasterCard are active in the mobile payments space, but they haven’t really engaged with social networks to enable f-commerce or t-commerce (Twitter) to the extent that Amex has. Look for this to change.
In-store Commerce Will Get More Social
Retailers have the daunting task of integrating offline and online purchase data to get a full view of their customers. But improvements in those processes, combined with the gathering of social graph and sharing data and the location-based data from users’ smartphones, will fuel the delivery of personalized offers when customers walk through retailers’ doors. Additionally, shoppers will be able to share online what they are buying in-store, as well as see their friends’ recommendations and preferences during the purchase process.
Mobile social commerce is still in its early stages and there’s still a lot of work to be done to increase adoption. But rest assured that brands, retailers, phone manufacturers, social networks, and payment providers will work hard to push the technological envelope to grab a share of the MoSoCo pie.
What are some of your predictions for the future of mobile social commerce? Let us know what you think in the comments.
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