Don’t forget the Groupon.
The social commerce concept has proven its usefulness and relevance in the consumer realm, with sites like Groupon taking root among the cost conscious. These sites command “millions of users,” reports the LA Times, by partnering with merchants to provide targeted offers of “50% to 90% off” certain consumer goods for a short time.
But the phenomenon has expanded beyond typical retail channels, with nonprofits, medical facilities, and even luxury goods manufacturers considering the outlet’s usefulness.
According to Newsweek, "In September, TaoBao posted a group deal for Mercedes Benz–made Smart cars, which retail for as much as $23,000, at 20 percent off. Less than four hours later, 205 customers had put down a deposit — Smart expected to sell that many in 21 days.” Other far-out examples include discounts on LASIK surgery and recreational trips to zero-gravity.
Although certain social commerce offers might trend toward the preposterous, social commerce in the financial services industry is rife with potential. Vantage Credit Union’s ($654M, Bridgeton, MO) online banking program for Gen Y members includes a voluntary “tag” system that organizes spending information according to merchant category. The credit union can then use that information to create merchant relationships and provide members with deals and coupons, via online banking, that are relevant to how they spend their money. Vantage members have opened 700 of these accounts already, and the credit union hopes to have 4,000 accounts opened by summer of next year. To find more info, check out page 4 of a free preview from the 2Q edition of CUSP Online entitled "Who, What, Where, When, Y?"