Oct 10, 2009

What do the “Waves” of Google bring to Social Commerce?

The sudden arrival of Google Wave last week, where100,000 guests were each able to invite 5 other people, made a powerful sweep over Web 2.0.

In Google own terms:

"What is a wave?

A wave is equal parts conversation and document. People can communicate and work together with richly formatted text, photos, videos, maps, and more.

A wave is shared. Any participant can reply anywhere in the message, edit the content and add participants at any point in the process. Then playback lets anyone rewind the wave to see who said what and when.

A wave is live. With live transmission as you type, participants on a wave can have faster conversations, see edits and interact with extensions in real-time."

What are the benefits of Wave and how can it change E-commerce?
The main idea here is conversation.  With traditional E-commerce sites the products are displayed with information about each item, the client is then directed to the bottom of a “funnel” that reduces the number of clicks before verifying the purchase.

This new social commerce tool allows the consumer to rate the products, share information, and inquire about the items posted.
For merchant sites and brand sites, it is more about involving the consumer than directly persuading them…
It is global conversation around a brand, a product, or a service that makes up the funnel.

Up until now, this communication technique has been poorly structured, its persistence is limited, and the consumers don’t really discuss among themselves.  They read published information by others who they do not know. At best it becomes a forum and the funnel is dismantled.
A social network is the only place where one can engage in conversation between those they know.

It is here that Google Wave comes into play.

By organizing conversations in the form of a document (Wave) that in turn includes other published documents (blogs, other sites, forums, emails, social networks, photo and video sites, SMS…) Wave organizes and centralizes these discussions.

Discussing a hotel, a Netbook, a stroller, a movie, or a diet pill can take new form in that the consumers will play a role in the power given to brands and merchants, in the hope of selling better.

Wave is a potentially very powerful social commerce tool, perhaps even overshadowing Facebook and Twitter.   Social Networks can lose their monopolies of the conversation, and this one can breakdown the barriers of each site.

 Ride the Wave!

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