Consultants Booze & Co have published a social commerce report entitled: The Rise of Social Apponomics How Social Media and Apps Are Transforming E-Commerce.

You can download the report here, but for the time-poor here’s a quick speed summary.

Speed Summary | The Rise of Social Apponomics – How Social Media and Apps Are Transforming E-Commerce

  • A new evolutionary stage of e-commerce is emerging—the era of “social apponomics” in which new business models are made possible by social media, consumer insight, and tailored applications.
  • The main value drivers for e-commerce are shifting from the direct monetization of online traffic to customer life-cycle management. The key to success is understanding customer needs and creating online customer experiences that translate into customer lifetime value.
  • Best practices in social apponomics include not just adding social media and applications to an offering but combining them with the traditional and well-understood elements of customer experience—ease of use, brand and trust, personalized offers, and campaigns, coupled with high levels of support and advice.
  • With this holistic approach to online customer experiences, a new elite of etailers are developing superior, profitable customer value propositions for the long haul.  Seven lessons can be drawn from these new gold standard leaders
    • 1. Winners will not compete with social giants like Facebook or Twitter; they will ally with existing social media and monetize their own related efforts.
    • 2. Online solutions need to be location-specific targeted to particular customer groups – while being device-agnostic.
    • 3. People transcend customer segments; consumers have identities, preferences, product histories, and social data that generate broader “cloud profiles” beyond the borders of any one site.
    • 4. Pricing can be a dynamic conversation. Use information about individuals’ pricing preferences to close sales.
    • 5. Make use of the power of crowds in your Web apps or other innovations.
    • 6. Learn to “virtually humanize” your company: Expose your employees and decentralize your messaging. Avoid giving the impression of being a “command and control” company.
    • 7. Develop forms of online credentialing of the value of your goods and services: Your own corporate certification is good, employee voices are better, and user credentialing is best.
  • Leaders in the emerging era of social apponomics include Netflix, Amazon, Zappos, and Intuit, and pioneers at the cutting edge of social apponomics include elance,, Spiceworks,, and

Whilst we wholeheartedly agree with Booz & Co’s main thrust that the the future of e-commerce is customer life-cycle management and that social media and apps have a key role to play in that future, we’re not convinced we need another new buzzword ‘social apponomics’.

The new ‘social apponomics’ buzzword follows in the x-nomics tradition that has spawned freakonomics, socialnomics, qwertynomics, Reaganomics and our favorite – noddynomics (used originally to describe the economic policy of Malaysia, and now to describe the logic behind much marketing spend).

The term ‘apponomics‘ has been used to describe the economics of software application development and commercialization since 2008, but Booz & Co now use ‘social apponomics’ to refer to customer life-cycle management that builds loyalty and customer life-time value by adding social media and applications to an e-commerce offering.

We wonder whether conflating two distinct trends – social and apps – into a new hybrid term that uses the apponomics neologism in a new and different way might not invite more confusion than clarity?  We have ‘apponomics’ and, if you like, ‘socialnomics’ – do we really need ‘social apponomics’?