The rise of dCommerce – Product Discovery on Visual, Curated and Self-selected feeds

Posted: October 12th, 2012
Author: | Filed under: Piqora Features

A new e-commerce trend is gradually emerging. From Fab adopting a social feed of products on fab.com/feed to Zappos experimenting with personalized recommendations based on user’s pinterest pins at Pinpointing. I call it the rise of dCommerce. dCommerce is about push based product discovery — it’s a set of online experiences where products chase consumers in a personalized, relevant and self-selected ways.

Discovery has been always a part of purchase funnel and companies spend massive dollars on display ad networks to generate awareness which then results in intent-satisfaction search queries for products leading to SEM ads which get the last click attribution. dCommerce will shift product discovery away from display advertising to product presence in self-selected user feeds on social networks such as Pinterest.

  • E-commerce 1.0 was search driven. Sites architected for SEO and traffic was a function of search arbitrage
  • E-commerce 2.0 is email driven. Subscription e-commerce and relationship marketing with fast moving interesting inventory from sites like shoedazzle, hautelook, Fab etc.
  • dCommerce is Discovery driven. This discovery will shift away from retail websites and display advertising and will happen more and more on tablet apps and curated feeds on social networks like Pinterest.

In dCommerce the entire web will be optimized for discovery. Consumers will be able to see a lot without clicking a lot. There are 2 components to enabling this: 1. Infinite product feeds that are curated by taste makers and self-selected by users based on their interest and 2. Images as the primary way of users discovering, engaging and interacting with information. Both of these are already true for Pinterest. The visual and self-selected feeds will  also gradually become a part of retailer websites making web and inventory browsing extremely efficient and joyous.

My prediction is that user experience on the web will adapt to reflect that shopping is actually an entertainment experience. Not only that, marketers will start measuring the economic value of browsing and how lean-back browsing can trigger collections on social networks leading to massive viral reach. The focus should shift away from last click conversion to showing a variety of products to site visitors thus keeping them longer on site and eventually driving more purchases and loyalty.

What does this mean if you are a retailer? Retailers have to make sure that when consumers dial into social network feeds, they find and stumble upon their products. By making your website visually attractive and optimized for Pinterest sharing, retailers can increase their share of voice on user’s feeds on Pinterest. Every pin is a distribution opportunity. The other way to maximize product distribution on social networks to have a strong community of influential brand advocates, visiting your website regularly and pinning content. In future retailers will have the ability to create boards around interesting themes, acquire followers and push new products to those followers.

dCommerce is here and if you are retailer now is the time to start investing in it.

–Sharad Verma (co-founder, pinfluencer, sharad@pinfluencer.com)

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