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Letter sent on Feb 22, 2016

5 reasons why Social web is the new marketplace?

It is mind blowing how technology has revolutionised the way we live. Ten years ago, the most fascinating thing I could do was customise monophonic ringtones on my Nokia 1110. You won’t believe stuff the ‘thumb’ generation is swiping on their mobile phones now. It is almost impossible to live without a mobile phone, which in reality is just a tiny computer. They rule the world.

The world is now connected thanks to the internet. There is just over 3 billion active internet users in the world. That is a big number and it can all be summed up to one word “mobile”. Smartphones and wireless networks have become better and affordable day by day.

If there is something that cannot be ignored today is social media. Close to 1.7 billion have active social media accounts. A majority of this number access their accounts through their mobile phones. Hardly can a day pass without checking my Facebook timeline and trending hashtags on twitter. Facebook clearly leads the pack, but Twitter, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest and others cannot be ignored.

Businesses have realised that social web is where people are. It is also a big influencer of purchasing decisions. There are 10 million plus small businesses that have a strong presence on Facebook. They have a strong and loyal following and they use these social networks to stay connected to their customers and sell more.

Social web is the new marketplace. Here are 5 reasons why: -

1) Mobile

As you would have guessed, mobile has given people the power to search products, compare prices, look at product reviews, ask advice from friends and so much more. People also like to be contacted on their mobile phones. These activities are common now on social media. Mobile now accounts for just under 40% of time spent on social media. This number will only rise.

2) Demographics

The mobile-savvy consumers in their teens and early twenties call the millennials are used to shopping online and mobile phones and tablets are their devices of choice. Hair, beauty and apparel are the top product categories for millennials across Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Although they are setting the standard they are not the only group of people taking advantage of social commerce.

3) The ‘social’ in social commerce

It’s a fact that people influence the shopping choices made by others. Where else then can you find opinions, reviews and recommendations of others other than on social media. This very aspect has changed the way that businesses and customers look at shopping and it has now become more personal and fun.

4) Visual web

We are visual beings. Who has not fallen in love with GoPro videos. Sites like Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr are becoming our go to place for shopping ideas, fashion tips and wish lists. They are the new catalogues which are user generated. ‘Webrooming’ is a thing now, many people do their research online then head offline to make purchases.

5) The future is here.

People especially those who had been in the trade for a while had their doubts regarding the impact of social commerce. Well, even the biggest of brands like Nike and Coca cola are in it now. It has become one of the most important marketing channels. The people have spoken and they love social commerce. It’s time we made the most out of it.