Tomorrow I’m going to share some ideas about social commerce and businesses that built around social media. One of my examples is Airbnb.com. This is an on-line service where you can rent out your apartment to guests from all around the world. On the other hand it’s possible to book an apartment abroad instead of staying in a hotel. Airbnb.com uses recommendations and referrals from guests and hosts to rank guests and hosts. With those recommendations hosts can accept or reject a guest or a guest can make his or her decision by looking into the profile of the host. People put trust in this comments and the recommendations, even though they don’t know each other.
This is a revolutionary way of finding a suitable place to stay while travelling. Real people give each other information about the place they’ve spent time in. Instead of checking in into a hotel, now it’s possible to get to know locals, and experience the place like the locals are doing. This kind of connecting people in order to find a place to stay has disrupted the hotel business in a lot of major cities around the world. And it’s getting bigger!
Another topic that I’d like to discuss is the future of social commerce. The gap between on-line shopping and physical shopping is getting smaller. The experience of on-line shopping is changing because of technological progress and people want to have the physical interaction combined with the digital comfort. Big retailers are already testing ways to combine a physical shopping experience with a digital touch and vice versa. There are a lot of techniques that retailers can use in order to create an optimal shopping experience but I think that a lot of the retailers especially in The Netherlands, are not using the social media properly. Should retailers be more aware of the opportunities in e-commerce combined with social media?