Social Commerce

Allurent's Three Phases of Social Commerce

In a DMNews article this week entitled: Social commerce: Strategies for extending online shopping beyond the e-commerce site, Fumi Matsumoto, co-founder & CTO of Allurent (Charlotte Russe and Reebok’s Facebook store software), outlines a three phased solution for doing social commerce.

For Allurent, social commerce is all about extending online shopping beyond e-commerce sites to social destinations.  It involves what we call an “adding tills to watercoolers” solution (adding e-commerce to social media platforms), and an “adding watercoolers to tills” solution (linking social media to existing e-commerce platform) – but through offsite links.  The ultimate goal is “enabling consumers to browse, view, and add products to a shopping cart, within the context of a social site, like Facebook or a blog.”

  1. Phase 1: ‘adding watercoolers to tills’ (1): linking your e-commerce site to offsite watercooler sites – (social sites such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter presence, retailer blog). We’d suggest also adding in onsite ratings, reviews, and discussion forums, Bazaarvoice/PowerReviews-style. and share with your network tools (SWYN) like co-browsing. Matsumoto notes that Phase 1 is essentially an extension of interactive marketing – and the effect on e-commerce will be indirect.
  2. Phase 2: ‘adding watercoolers to tills’ (2)’: linking your e-commerce site to leading offsite social shopping portals such as Polyvore and Kaboodle, or to virtual watercoolers on affiliate/partner sites in the form of expert blogs or sponsored discussion forums
  3. Phase 3: ‘adding tills to watercoolers’: adding commerce capabilities directly into your social media presence (i.e. phases 1 & 2) – allowing customers buy directly from within a ‘watercooler moment’ through storefronts on social networks, social media sites, forums, and blogs.  The advantage of offering distributed e-commerce facilities is that you can sell where your audience are, and make the shopping experience a natural extension of their interaction with the brand, and each other.

SocComToday likes Allurent’s three phase model – but in the spirit of completeness (and not just what allurent sells), we think the model should include onsite social commerce tools (ratings,  forums, blogs, SWYN (via Facebook Connect)) too.


Chartered psychologist specialising in consumer behaviour, wellbeing and technology. Certified CX professional experienced in Design Thinking. A researcher, writer and speaker, Paul is head of Digital Insight at SYZYGY.

0 Comments Add New Comment

  1. You’re right that it actually needs to be a two way thing, especially when it comes to buying from original sources, or new brands.

    Conversion rates are much higher where buyers can engage throughout the course of making their purchase.

    Having the water cooler by the till also means the conversations aren’t all lost in the aether.

  2. Paul Marsden says:

    Thanks for the comment Markus, and good point on capturing water-cooler insight. Nice.

    I suppose it’s only natural that software vendors describe social commerce only in terms of what they sell – but a joined up approach (water-coolers next to tills AND tills next to water-coolers) would provide shoppers with a more complete social experience (if they choose to use it).

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