What’s trending now?
Messaging and social media platforms are integrating e-commerce and payment / e-wallet transfer capabilities into their platforms, seen through a growing trend in China around more gamification. This is where social commerce – defined as a form of electronic commerce which uses social networks to assist in the buying or selling of products utilizing user ratings, referrals, online communities and social advertising in facilitation – becomes truly social.
This has seen immense growth and success in China through taking the age old tradition of hongbao – the ‘red envelope’ – where money is given to family and friends as a gift and evolved to meet the needs of a new, modern world with a more advanced market.
Why it’s important
Due to the fierce competitive market space with messaging platforms the added value proposition of new, more digitally-oriented means of conducting transactions and payments through a platform provides far more convenience to the consumer. Furthermore, this is essentially more ‘social’ by nature: WeChat’s success alone signals massive potential for a host of platforms.
As more awareness and functionality grows, so too does the need for such facilities. This will ultimately result in more gamification of mobile payments through the various platforms; thereby resulting in payments becoming easier; faster, cheaper, and more transparent.
Brands across sectors are struggling to grasp and retain customers who live in an ever-expanding world that demands more of their time and attention. In such an environment how can a brand create tangible long-term relationships based on strong brand love and resonance?
Social commerce is a key variable in this complex customer relationship equation. Instead of simply just detailing and advertising a product through content, the journey is fundamentally flawed if one cannot reach the destination. In this case that destination is purchase and sale.
This approach of more gamification and integration across platforms sees more of a ‘call to action’ for direct peer-to-peer ecommerce as well as providing more inherent convenience for all users concerned. With big player platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Amazon taking the lead in this approach it’s only a matter of time.
Tencent (WeChat’s holding company) and Alibaba are in a fierce war of the platforms each aiming to outdo the other in China; with each attempting to add further to their own ‘red packet’ offerings.
As a result, Google is now launching additional social-orientated payment capabilities through its Gmail and Wallet services, whereby users can now use Gmail to send money to any email address for free regardless; whether it’s a Gmail address or not. In addition, users can accept money sent to them or request money from someone using Gmail.
The world wide web.
By: Jordan Major
Travel, in all its varied forms, is a concept that inspires and drives the ambitions of Jordan Major. From backpacking around Europe to exploring new professional territories his journey is one that knows no bounds. Having written for the likes of GQ and Between 10 and 5 this young creative sees this new chapter with Flux Trends as a way to speak to the present about the future in a meaningful way.
Image credit: www.semcrush.com AND Jordan Major