Pinterest is a (burst) bubble without a viable business model. The magazine industry has a dead business model. But together, the two could combine to create next generation of profitable social commerce.
That’s the conclusion we came to to after reading Frédéric Cavazza’s excellent post on the future structure of the social commerce industry (in French).
In a nutshell, Fréd, prolific blogger and author of one of the best presentations to date on social commerce, suggests that the next phase in social commerce is curation via a creative combination of “blogging and boarding” – curated and personalized product selections (powered by a next-generation social recommender system) that combines Pinterest-style boards with editorial content. Ultimately these may evolve into virtual shop assistants with a ‘meta-basket’ allowing shoppers to add products from different vendors as they browse.
From this perspective, the problem that social commerce solves is that it reduces choice by filtering out the junk and presenting users with a personalised range of options – informed by the selections and opinions of others. In other words social commerce makes shoppers smarter by acting as a smart intermediary between vendors and shoppers.
Whilst social shopping apps such as ThisNext, Fantasy Shopper, Fashiolista ou Shopcade may come to mind, what comes to mind for us is Stuff Magazine, the FT’s brilliant How to Spend it app, or even the lowly Consumer Reports/Which Magazine.
One part Flipboard, one-part Pinterest and one part Stuff magazine is the recipe for the next social commerce success story.