Social Commerce

Social Commerce that Sucks: 4 Pitfalls to Avoid and a Golden Rule [Screenshots]

Jesse Stanchak over at SmartBlogs has listed some high-profile social commerce #fails sub-optimality from big companies.

  • J.C. Penney “like-gating” on it’s f-store (making people like the page to shop), and not offering any personalisation; the retailer forces you to like them, gets user data useful for offering a personalised experience, but don’t bother
  • Sears – maddeningly fragmented experience split over various sites (on site, on Facebook, on a social shopping site and legacy community site MySears).  Why force shoppers to move between sites and piece together the splintered brand experience? Customer-centricity anyone?
  • Macy’s – sticking a chasm between product research (Facebook) and product purchase (web-store).  Why?
  • Dillard’s – fake social commerce;  Sticking banner ads on your Facebook page linking to your web-store doesn’t count as social commerce, even if you call the banner ad a Shopping (Shop Now) app.

Intelligence is as must about learning from failing than success, that’s why it’s called trial and error learning. And social intelligence is about learning from others’ mistakes – as well as their successes.  These are useful lessons being learned.  Social commerce is experimental phase – and these retailers are to be applauded for trailblazing; with what they are learning, they are future-proofing themselves for the new socially-augmented consumer; laggards are unlikely to catch up.

Our take out from this?  Here’s a social commerce golden rule: Start with the Smile – build an experience that makes people smile, and the sales will follow.


"Like Baiting" Anyone?
Sears Group Buy on Facebook: Nice Idea, Shame it's Broken
Macy's - So I've Read the Review and Want to Buy: Oh Wait I Can't...


Dillard's - Facebook Banner Ads Masquerading as Social Commerce




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.

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