Getting SMART about Commerce in the Social Era
Erin Mcelroy 2700076KDD firstname.lastname@example.org | | Tags:  commerce generation-s smarter-commerce-global-s... scgs smart peter-shankman convenience smarter-commerce moments-matter
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Erin Mcelroy, Program Director, Social Business Systems of Engagement, IBM
The theme for the IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit this year is Moments Matter. As people descend on the Tampa Convention Center on May 12-15, I am excited to see how IBM is helping the top brands in the world capitalize on the moment at hand – the rise of Generation S, where the “S” stands for Social.
Generation S – Changing the World
What is Generation S and what does it have to do with commerce? Well, earlier this year, we decided to capture how the world has changed because of social. We asked people of Generation S, which transcends race, age, and socioeconomics, and is defined purely based on the use of social technologies, to tell us how social has changed their lives. The resulting video, How Our World Has Changed, boils down to one common theme: while human interaction has always driven commerce, it’s the digital enablement of that human interaction that is shifting the nature of how we live our lives, and in turn, of how we buy. The net of it is, people are driving commerce like never before.
Commerce – Driven by People
You might say that people have always driven commerce, product innovation, etc. But which people? Your next new product may not come from a select group of product designers in a closed-door design session, but from the social web and from within company networks across time zones and cultures. And why not innovate for the Asian market, for example, from people who live there?
Convenience is King
When I was a kid, I remember the term, convenience store. They were really popular with the baby boomers, who considered them a big innovation. For Generation S, convenience means online stores, customer ratings, the ability to tell their friends about it, an app with rich content and images, and the ability to subscribe to promotions, which had better be good.
Are you plugged in?
Customers are making buying decisions based on the advice and experiences of people they've never met. So the fundamental question is, are you plugged into Generation S? Are able to listen and are you listening?
In the words of @PeterShankman, “Companies just don’t put the time and effort into [social]…they don’t realize that you can actually generate hard core revenue from this…Hard core revenue, like a lot of money.”
Beyond the basics of having a digital presence, are you treating your digital customers with as much care as you do your in-store patrons? Being digitally-savvy is table stakes in the commerce game, and the digital grapevine is powerful. Companies that embrace, engage, and capitalize on the social current will thrive and those who do not will miss the moment and the opportunity.
We are excited to share this moment with the world at the IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit. It’s going to be a moment not to be missed. Hope to see you there.