What’s next for social commerce?

We’ve seen the rise of collective buying power with the group-buy trend, and we’ve seen the commercialisation of social networks – both selling on them, and integrating them into the retail experience.

There’ll certainly be more of the same, evermore sophisticated – whether it’s fan-stores on social networks, the portable social graph in retail environments, or the evolution of group-buy beyond daily-deal brokers.

But two other trends are increasingly coming up in conversations with industry experts;

  1. subscription-based models in commerce (think birchbox, glossybox), and
  2. the sharing economy (think collaborative consumption – again…)

We’re putting some thoughts together on subscription-based models, we think it going to be big, particularly subscriptions for fans – but here are three thought-provoking infographics on the sharing economy.

Marketplaces for sharing, renting and wapping spaces, stuff, time, and skills are one thing, but how can the sharing economy of collaborative consumption, estimated to be worth $110bn, help vendors sell stuff?

One idea that got us thinking was to combine the two trends – the sharing economy and subscriptions and sell shared subscriptions.  For example, whilst we love our Wired and Economist magazine subscriptions, we often don’t have the time to read every edition. Why not allow consumers to share a subscription with a friend or colleague – each accessing every second edition? Want the edition you missed – then just pay a subscriber rate to download it (or get it delivered if you’re still that way inclined). Likewise for gym membership.

Add in the trends of fractional ownership – from yachts to cars to private jets, and P2P lending, you have an interesting creative space for social commerce.  Check out the collaborative consumption hub (thanks PSFK for the heads up) and these infographics and ask yourself how your brand could profit from the sharing economy…

The Collaborative Home (click image to enlarge)

The Rise of Social Media & Collaborative Consumption (click image to enlarge)

The New Opportunities for Sharing (click image to enlarge)