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That’s the question USAT explored in a story last week, though as Mashable says, not sure why or how any of this will pan out, if ever. It cites a “survey” by the American Marketing Association, which says there may be billions of dollars being left on the table by the major social-networking sites like MySpace and Facebook. About 51% of respondents to the survey said they’d be willing to go to a social-networking site this holiday season to find out about store sales, or download coupons.
Again, that is flimsy, at best…the only working example is Japanese social network Mixi, which allows users to rate and review books, CDs, DVDs, games and electronics, then click through to buy them on Amazon Japan, as Mashable points out. This is probably the way U.S. networks might use commerce, besides digital downloads. Of course, there’s that trend of social shopping, through sites such as Crowdstorm, ThisNext, Kaboodle, Wists and Stylehive. Some more details on the survey are here in the release.
Update: ClickZ also does a story on social shopping service, and various ways in which retailers are trying to use them.