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


Social commerce: where social media meets e-commerce


Most of us are acquainted with the terms Social media and E-commerce, however we might not all be familiar with the growing trend of Social commerce, which has generated 30 billion US dollars sales worldwide in 2015 (Statista 2015). According to (2015), it is how engaging in Social media results into online sales transactions. But why exactly is social commerce so important and what distinguishes it from traditional e-commerce?

Nowadays, strolling through a shopping mall whilst discussing potential purchases with a friend is an increasingly uncommon phenomenon. For multiple reasons (time efficiency, lower prices etc.), people have increasingly chosen to scroll through a list of products before adding a selection to their virtual shopping basket. In the process, consulting others experiences or opinion are largely neglected. Separating itself by increasing the social aspect of shopping, social commerce emerges.

Social commerce provides customers with a great deal more than merely a list of products (also known as traditional e-commerce); it promotes social interaction and user contribution to improve products and consult potential customers. Social commerce allows one to explore products in greater depth by engaging with previous purchasers through reviews and comments. Often, companies will provide rewards such as discounts for liking and sharing their product or service, as it will increase the products range.

“Any social commerce shop should have the capability to; share, like, tweet, comment, review and buy on the platform. Because ultimately it’s about getting people talking and sharing and buying.  Anything less is just traditional e-commerce in sheeps’ social clothing.” – Joelle Musante – Payvment

An example is the recently created Coca-cola Store Facebook page. This page allows potential customers to gain information on the brand, purchase the brand and leave comments on the well-known facebook ‘wall’. The page also publishes posts to trigger people to re-visit the page, keeping them engaged and up-to-date. This differs immensely from the original Coca Cola website where one could merely look up company information and purchase a bottle of coke or the company’s merchandise.

Screen Shot 2015-09-05 at 08.42.55

Snapchat of the Coca-Cola Store Facebook page (2015)

Another example is the “Make the flavor – The Battle” – campaign initiated by Lays chips. In this campaign Lays portrays how to involve customers in the creation of a new chips flavour whilst building a large Facebook community. The fact that consumers like to be involved is clear as daylight: 675.000 flavour entries were submitted resulting in additional sales of 6 million bags of chips that made it to the finals (Klein Schiphorst 2012).


Lays’ “Maak de Smaak”-campaign (2012)

Finally, social commerce increases the value of collected big data. Companies do not only know what people buy but also why they buy it and what their experiences are with the product. This increases the knowledge companies have about their customers immensely.

To summarize, social commerce stimulates social interaction among customers and allows co-creation on social media websites. This distinguishes it from traditional e-commerce. Allowing people to give their opinion on a brand stimulates them to return back to the page, which in return stimulates revenues. During this process, valuable big-data information is collected.

How do you define social commerce? Do you agree on my representation? What is your opinion on the integration of social media and e-commerce? Would you consider it alarming that social media and e-commerce integrate further?

I hope I’ve warmed you up for next weeks topic!


Klein Schiphorst, S. (2012). Superfans van Lay’s bepalen de (social media-)smaak. Available: Last accessed 4th Sep 2015.

Reekers, J. (2015). What Is Social Commerce? (And How To Take Advantage Of It). Available: Last accessed 4th Sep 2015.

Statista. (2015). Worldwide social commerce revenue from 2011 to 2015 (in billion U.S. dollars). Available: Last accessed 4th Sep 2015.

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!

Social Commerce: Homework Assignment

Hello fellow social media hookups,

tomorrow I’m going to explain some things about social commerce to you. Of course you are all introduced by the subject by our professor on Wednesday, but to briefly catch you up again: it is the combination of e-commerce, which is selling products via the internet and social media. By connecting their social media followers to their e-commerce activities, companies can greatly increase their website’s activity and thereby increase sales. In class we spoke about Blendtec  CEO Tom Dickson, who blends all kinds of odd objects in his company made blenders. Did you know that in the five years of making these video’s, the company’s sales have boosted up to 700%? That is truly an amazing example of integrating social media content with the company’s website, where people can make suggestions on which items Dickson should blend next. (Dickson, 2009)

You might have seen examples of social commerce already on the internet, because lots of variants are already used for years, like ratings, reviews and social media optimization. Reviews on products both on social media and on company’s websites are made more easy by giving e-commerce websites social media optimization, like the Facebook Connect option, where people can comment by logging in into Facebook. Amazon uses this concept already for a long time and more and more companies are giving the customers the option to easily review products by letting them log in on their websites through for instance Facebook. (Marsden, 2010)

A less well known concept is that of collaborative online shopping (Zhu et al., 2010). Here people can actively discuss with friends about products they want to buy on a e-commerce website in real time. A good example of this feature is Vans, where people can use a chat option on the website to argue with friends about the benefits of certain products. (Zmuda, 2009) This could actually be a very cool thing if more companies would provide this. Instead of going to town with a friend for buying a few things, you could just make an appointment online to see what’s out there. The most interesting thing though about the article is that Zhu and his fellow researchers (2010) dive into the phenomenon of shared collaborative shopping. This contains sharing the same screen with the friend you are connected with. This seems like an interesting option, though it is not used often already. Do you think that this option needs to be used more often and that it could be useful to you when you want advise from your friends while shopping online?

Marsden, P. 2010. Social commerce: Monetizing social media. [online] Available at: [Accessed 12 September 2012].

Tom Dickson, 2009. BlendTec CEO Says Sales up 700% Since Launching ‘’Will it Blend’’. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 12 September 2012].

Zhu, L., Benbasat, I., and Jiang, Z. 2010. Let’s shop online together: An Empirical investigation of collaborative online shopping support,  Information Systems Research, 21(4) 872-891.

Zmuda, N., 2009. Online shopping goes from solo experience to social interaction. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 13 September 2012]

What about Social Commerce…?

Dear classmates!

This first post of me is related to “Social Commerce”.  At first I did not really know what was meant by this concept, therefore I will share the definition which is being presented by IBM: “a subset of electronic commerce that uses social media, online media that supports social interaction and user contributions, to enhance the online purchase experience”. In short it is the combination of social media with e-commerce.

So now that we know what the subject is about lets us look at two examples that can be defined as social commerce. The first one is You are probably familiar with although you will probably use the “Dutch version” more often i.e..

Amazon started with just selling online stuff on the internet. Today amazon incorporate a lot of other activities. The social aspect of amazon is that you can read what other customers have to say about a particular product. They also help you to get ideas by using the tool: “what other customers viewed”. Nevertheless people often first go to a store before they purchase the product online. Speculators therefore say that amazon should buy, “Best Buy” a large retail company in the US.

The other big idea that is out there is that in the future we will probably relay far more on online mechanism, i.e., omnichanneling (as being presented in the Harvard Business Review). This idea threats traditional retailer, because the consumer will have direct knowledge about information such as , lowest price etc. Personally I do not feel that traditional retailers would vanish from this earth, they just be more adjusted to work together with the online mechanism.

The other example that I will speak about is Pinterest. Personally I was not familiar with this website. I did however heard of it, but it did not capture my attention. Because of this “research” I made a Pinterest account and spend some time looking around. Still I do not see why approximately 7 million people are attracted to this website…

Maybe I am missing something, because I found several examples of companies that went from an unknown company to a big online company by the use of Pinterest. The principle here was simple. Their products where just pinned by someone who liked it. By pinning something you share and if someone else spots it they can re-pin it. With this a lot of people can see the product and demand it if they like it.

In some scenarios ( the store did not had any online store yet. By receiving a lot of emails of people who wanted to buy their products they opened one that became very successful.

This is an example of the power of social media in general, the downside of this story is that Pinterest fails to make the profits of “selling” this products compared to Twitter or Facebook.

This are my findings, tomorrow we will here more about social commerce!

See you then!