Report: E-Commerce Sites Must Fend Off Looming Challenge from Social Platforms
The straightforward days of yore when e-commerce sites like Amazon made their money selling users products and social platforms like Facebook made their money selling advertisements that capitalized on users’ attention have come to an end.
That’s the message from a new report developed by video marketing firm Magisto, which breaks down what it calls an “arms race” between social platforms and e-commerce sites to control the future of digital commerce.
As the report illustrates, just as e-commerce platforms begin to churn out attention-grabbing media that maintains consumers’ attention in the same way social platforms have done for over a decade (see: Amazon’s experiments in video and concomitantly burgeoning advertising business), social platforms are digging deeper into commercial transactions (see: Facebook’s Marketplace, which has seen over 500 million users).
Some key stats from Magisto’s survey of over 750 marketing decision makers:
- More than half of marketers would consider using social media for all their “business and marketing transactions” if those platforms offered direct sales, according to a press release.
- Almost three quarters of businesses would more likely turn to third-party e-commerce sites if those sites offered marketing and promotional capabilities.
- “75 percent of businesses report managing one or more profiles on third-party e-commerce sites” already.
The upshot? Businesses are already establishing profiles on e-commerce sites and expressing interest in the transactional possibilities of social platforms. The lines between the two are more than blurred. The opportunity is ripe for social platforms with the right transactional infrastructure and e-commerce sites with a proper slate of marketing functions to cross into the conventional territory of the other.
If e-commerce sites do not go beyond transactions to offer their vendors marketing possibilities, they may lose the market on transactions altogether.
Joe Zappa is Street Fight’s managing editor. Follow him on Twitter @joe_zappa.