Ecommerce + Content + Community = Social Ecommerce || My solution is…

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[…please follow my personal blog https://meetingdelleidee.wordpress.com for Posts on this topic –  for instance: “The secrets of the perfect Ecommerce Home Page (+ downloadable Infographic)https://meetingdelleidee.wordpress.com/2012/11/20/the-secrets-of-the-perfect-ecommerce-home-page-downloadable-infographic/ ]

ecommerce-globoYour Ecommerce-site visitors are bored with just browsing and buying products – they also want to communicate, get involved and share; they want to be “Social” especially when shopping online. And with a few exceptions, “Social Ecommerce” currently is nothing more than some customer-reviews and a link or two to Facebook & Co.

It seems unbelievable, but integrating (and managing) a full-featured blog on your Ecommerce site Home Page (…with rich conversations, awesome videos, breathtaking images, etc., you know what I mean, with all the bells and whistles…) is possible, but not straight-forward.

What about selling products inside your Posts ? Or, vice-versa, putting Posts inside your Product-pages ? Unfortunately it’s quite a struggle – again, it’s doable, but quite byzantine, especially if you have very frequent Posts and countless products.

What I am asserting is that effectively combining Ecommerce + Content + Community (…that is my definition of “Social Ecommerce”…) is a pretty big deal, because Ecommerce software sadly doesn’t do what any innovative Ecommerce business needs it to do.

Ready-made “Social Ecommerce” solution are quite rare and – regrettably – not so eRetailer-friendly. Shopify (http://www.shopify.com/), Magento (http://www.magentocommerce.com/) and their competitors are fantastic applications (…they are so powerful that I am sure you don’t need at least 90 percent of the stuff they offer…), but if you want to do Social Ecommerce:

  • heavy customization (think of plug-ins, themes, add-ons, etc.) is mandatory – by the way, do you have professional IT developers available ?
  • curation and management (of products, content, “Social”, etc.) can become quite burdensome

How to solve this problem ?

By standing still and waiting for Shopify, Magento & Co. to evolve and become more “Social” ? Maybe, and only if you are quite patient…

Or, much better, let’s think out of the box: instead of adding publishing, “Social”, etc. to a powerful Ecommerce platform, why don’t we do the opposite ?

I propose to add Ecommerce functionalities to a powerful CMS (Content Management System) platform, for example WordPress (www.wordpress.org).

There is a fantastic Ecommerce plug-in for WordPress called Jigoshop (http://jigoshop.com/), created by some astounding people in the UK (…their slogan is “A WordPress eCommerce plug-in that works”).

Jigoshop combined with all the content features that make WordPress the king of CMSs and with the prodigious number of available “Social” plug-ins, could indeed be the solution to the “Social Ecommerce” issue.

I am currently working on a Ecommerce site based on WordPress+Jigoshop, and I can assure you it works like a breeze.

Andy Cavallini (andy.cavallini@tin.it)

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