I guess you’ve all heard of the YouTube celebrity Felix Kjellberg A.K.A. Pewdiepie. If not, he is the most subscribed YouTuber with an astounding 40 million subscribers, mostly playing ‘indie’ or unpopular videogames while live commentating the event. In 2015, his annual income is estimated to be 4 million dollars a year and his net worth is estimated around 16 million dollars. And he’s only 25 years old! (Net Worth 2015)
Where does all this money come from?

First, let me freshen up your memory by explaining the phenomenon called ‘Social Commerce’. “Simply defined, social commerce is the fusion of social media with e-commerce or basically the concept of word-of-mouth applied to e-commerce.” (Marsden 2010)
So, in the case of Pewdiepie’s channel there are some signs of social commerce. For example, every month Pewds gets a package containing several collector items which are all related by theme, like ‘Villains’. He unboxes the items on screen and comments on them. At the end of the video he advises people to also buy these ‘Loot Crates’. The video below is one of the examples of this word-of-mouth on his channel.

Another important way companies gain a lot of awareness is when Pewdiepie plays their game. Then, the so-called Oprah effect comes into force. The Oprah effect is the effect that an appearance on a famous show can have on a small business. (Investopedia 2015) Because Pewdiepie nearly has 10 billion views, a recommendation can have a significant influence on the game developers.

Not a lot of people know that Pewdiepie actually is signed under Maker Studios, a company owned by Walt Disney, which produces videos for channels on YouTube. (Maker Studios 2015) The funny thing is, Pewdiepie says in his videos that he never gets paid to promote the videogames he plays. (YouTube 2015)

Is he telling the truth? Or is he lying and exploiting all of his subscribers? That making money is his main motive?
What do you guys think?

– Investopedia (2015) Oprah Effect
– Maker Studios (2015) Makers
– Marsden, P. (2010) Social Commerce: Monetizing Social Media, Hamburg: Syzygy.
– Net Worth (2015) Pewdiepie
– YouTube (2015) Pewdiepie


The Buy-Button

Social media sites are making it very easy for social commerce to rapidly increase. Social commerce simply means that social media sites assist e-commerce. Online buying can now be done through social media sites. How would like it if you could immediately buy that beautiful stool you saw on Pinterest this morning?


In June, Pinterest’s rival: Instagram, announced that they will soon create a buy button as well. They will name it the “shop now” button. Snapchat, Tinder, and Google are also looking to expand to a buy button.

Personally, I would buy lots of things through Pinterest. Pinterest was made to create different boards of things you want, so I would guess that the majority of people will buy things on Pinterest. A new type of shopping addiction could even arise: a pin & buy addiction!

Despite Pinterest’s potential success, I question the success of a buy button on Snapchat, Tinder & Google. They would have to rely on selling items of advertisements and the goal of these social media platforms was never to create lists of things you want.

Would you buy something through social media websites?

Another question that arises is potential rivalry between social media sites and e-commerce sites like and What’s more attractive for brands than advertising their products on highly engaged social media websites? Could this potentially decrease sales for e-commerce websites? It could, but it could also establish new partnerships. For example, Pinterest can agree to use a “buy at Amazon” button, where everything Pinterest posts will be available on Amazon. This does mean that Amazon’s inventory would have to increase enormously…


The pro’s and con’s of the buy-button raise so many different questions. I’m interested to see what you guys think! Would you want a buy-button on your favorite social media website?

Sources: “Battle of the buy buttons: What does the social commerce hybrid mean for retail brands?” by Katie McQuater

“Can Pinterest, Instagram Succeed at ‘Social Commerce'”? by Tom Risen

Social entrepreneurship that uses e-commerce/ social commerce

A few years back, I was taking entrepreneurship course back in my university. My professor asked us to come up with a business of our choice. I would like to promote and introduce my business idea.

A little background about women’s position in Turkey.

Even though western part of the Turkish land is really similar to European life-style, women’s economic independence in the middle and east Anatolia is still a big problem. Most women in these regions are unemployed. The rate of violence towards women is higher as well.

The Business Idea

So my idea was, if these women find means to increase their income, they won’t have to put up with their husbands’ assaults.

Thus I created the business idea which was focusing on selling the hand-made products these women make. In the core, its basic e-commerce/social commerce site, where the company is an intermediary to connect sellers and buyers, but since the company is non-profit organization and creating successful C2C in Turkey is really difficult. Most of these women are illiterate also even if they are literate, they do not have computers or do not know how to use computers.

Rather than using mainstream charity structures, we are hoping this way will empower the women more and create sustainable way for them to support themselves. In this model we could use different pricing models such as English Auctions, standard pricing. Because the model is online and the labor cost for these women is less, – they do not need to go to their local market place to sell their items- they can be more productive or spend more time with their children, which eventually enhance the social impact of the idea.

My conclusion is since social media and social networks are evolving, sadly the charity organizations are not utilizing these opportunities good. Non-profit organizations should develop themselves with the current trend and come up with new ideas to make the world a better place.


Ps. We couldn’t start the business yet mainly because administrative costs are high in Turkey, but I am trying to develop the idea every day and joining competition to attract more attention. I have a web-site but you cannot buy or sell items there yet. If your interested you can have a look, let me warn you tho, my web site design skills are really bad!

Another way of online shopping – “Virtual grocery shopping”

Last week we talked a lot in class about buying clothes, goods, services, and many more things online. Today, when I was surfing on YouTube, I discovered a whole new kind of purchasing goods. I guess we all know about the fact that you can purchase your groceries online. In the past few years, many big supermarkets worldwide, such as Walmart (US) and Tesco (UK) (and Albert Heijn in the Netherlands), are offering these services of grocery shopping online. But online grocery shopping is nothing new, it was already introduced by Peapod (US) in 1989 (Ahold,, that’s already more than two decades ago! In these past years, online shopping was getting more easier and quicker, and now the third-largest retailer worldwide, Tesco, came up with a new idea to make online grocery shopping even more attractive. Tesco created a new kind of ‘space’ where people can now virtually buy their groceries. We all kill our useless time with our smartphones (and tabloids) during traveling time. If you look around you in the subway or at the train-station whilst waiting, more than half of the people are doing ‘things’ with their gadgets. Therefore, Tesco came up with the idea to actually shop your groceries while you are waiting. Take a look at this video by Tesco (‘Home Plus’):


Tesco introduced this concept in Seoul (South Korea) in the fall of 2011. Tesco is trying to creatively transform the traditional retail business-model by changing space and time. The idea is easy: you have to install the application on your smartphone, whilst waiting scan the QR codes of the groceries you would like to buy, confirm your list and the groceries will be delivered within the day at your home. So you do not have to go to the ‘offline’ supermarkets anymore.

I am a bit skeptical about this virtual grocery shopping, however I must say it is a brilliant marketing idea: posters have a real and useful function now, you don’t have to stand in queues in the supermarket, you are doing something with your useless time, you save time by not going to an actual ‘offline’ supermarket anymore etc.

However, there are also some problems concerning this idea: you are not able to choose all your groceries while waiting on a busy platform with many people scanning products (especially in the busy subways of Seoul), the subway is too small to project all products of a supermarket, people have to deal with high delivery costs, you are not aware of the freshness of products when scanning a product (meat, fish, vegetables, fruit etc.), people will become very lazy in the future etc.

I think the idea is quite interesting, but definitely needs more investigation before implementing in more cities worldwide. Why don’t they just open an application with all available products online? So when you are actually sitting in the subway waiting for your stop, you can click easier on all the groceries (by selecting) and confirm your order (e.g.).

Apparently, the idea by Tesco is working, and a month ago, in Augustus 2012, Tesco opened their first interactive virtual grocery store in Gatwick’s North Terminal (in the UK).


We will see how it will develop in the UK, and maybe in the future we will all use our smartphone to scan groceries/products.(Source:

Isabel Beijers – 335155