A transition has begun where advertising platforms are becoming shopping platforms.
Let’s take Facebook for example, specifically it’s subsidiary: Instagram. Recently, Instagram added a new section for shoppers – and it’s front and center on the navigation bar. This transcends Instagram’s original monetization strategy of advertising. With a native Instagram shopping cart they can take a percentage of sales from store owners. Even better, Instagram can have store owners pay them for further advertising on their shopping platform.
Not to mention the possibilities with augmented and virtual reality integration. Like trying on a pair of shoes before buying:
The question is, as a tech geek and non-store owner, how can I ride the wave of this transition?
A few ideas:
This is the most straightforward – requiring some capital up front, and a little bit of patience. Of course with every investment, there’s a chance of being wrong and losing money. I’m okay with that. Compared to a lot of other long term plays out there – I like this one. Investments in companies like Facebook, Snapchat, Shopify, etc… might be good ones. Especially right now for Facebook because its main platform has its head in a lot of negative press. The negativity mostly stemming from it’s influence on elections and it’s overall power. In terms of its market cap, it almost feels like it’s being judged on what it is (which feels like it’s aging) – rather than where it’s going.
Facebook lives beyond facebook.com. If one is concerned about the platform losing users, they should not be concerned about that for Instagram. Also, Facebook is quickly becoming a market leader in gaming through Oculus. They’re diversifying enough where I feel safe investing in them. Most interesting to me, as the title says, is the integration of social media and shopping platforms. That’s where there’s a lot of dollars to be earned for Facebook.
SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION (SEO)
SEO seems to favor the early bird when it comes to new topics and keywords. Considering I host an education platform called NoviceDock, this might be a good time to start writing some tutorials to help small businesses become more tech-savy and benefit from this transition.
I always get intimidated investing time into new products, but this can be another area of focus. There’s always “plug-ins” that online businesses on social media platforms will need. Some brainstorming ideas:
- Tools to help create media for product photos on Instagram.
- Research tools to help analyze market trends on Instagram (this may not be possible if there are too many restrictions on the Instagram API).
- Consulting services for businesses trying to use Instagram’s native shopping feature
Kind of bland. Maybe you have some better ideas?
I think this is a dream for social networks that’s coming true. They are closing the loop of an end-to-end shopping experience. All the while, analyzing every search term and purchase that users make to better predict purchasing habits.
It’s kind of scary, but I’m going to go along for the wave (with light caution of course).