Is Your Business Ready for the Era of Social Commerce?

Just read a nice distillation of a new Forrester report by Jessica Tsai over at destinationCRM.com.

The report plots the levels of social media’s penetration into the collective psyche of the business world.

The final stage, which we are entering into somewhat soon  is called “The Era of Social Commerce.” This era is categorized thusly:

In approximately two years, social networks will be more powerful than corporate Web sites and CRM systems, as individual identities and relationships are built on this platform. Brands will serve community interests and grow based on community advocacy as users continue to drive innovation in this direction.

While I think there is some truth to this report – I am not sure that the prediction that social networks will be more powerful than CRM systems makes any sense at all. True, a lot more interaction is happening inside these social media properties compared to traditional touch points. But the value that CRM systems give businesses in the traditional sense of operations and pipeline, revenue predictability etc. cannot be met by any social network.

Now, will social media be a major tool for finding, attracting, closing and serving customers?

Yes.

But in the meantime – don’t quit your CRM day job, so to speak. Continue to check out and adapt/adopt social media strategies. But these should always be an extension of your existing CRM operations, and integrate core ideas with new channels, tools etc.

One thought on “Is Your Business Ready for the Era of Social Commerce?

  1. Martin
    I agree with your comments ref social media and CRM.
    Unfortunately it seems there’s a whole lot of “social media experts” (self proclaimed of course) who punt this rubbish about social networks replacing CRM. They just demonstrate their lack of understanding about CRM and what it does.
    I’m also reticent about whether social media will ever be an important dimension for businesses.

    The various sites/services may (?) become a useful communication channel for B2C but they have some challenges to get over first: –
    a) most of the sites are becoming overwhelmed by the so called internet marketers, so ordinary people don’t get any visibility and
    b) none that I can find are really creating value for businesses.

    The Internet undoubtedly will enable new levels of relationships between businesses and their customers, but I’m not sure we’ve seen the right platform yet. To my mind the right platform will much more like Get Satisfaction than it will be like Linked In, Facebook or any of those Ning networks.

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