Social commerce and the OWJO revolution
The Killer App – Delivering Ubiquity & 360 Degree Business Intelligence
With traditional ecommerce a retailer typically hosts a storefront on their website. Advertising and marketing efforts drive traffic to the site and prospective purchasers can choose to pay for their merchandise with a credit / debit card or get re-directed to a payment provider such as PayPal. The purchaser then completes the transaction and goods are shipped. The retailer may host its own infrastructure to provide this service – namely software, hardware and in-house IT staff or they may choose to outsource it to a hosting partner. The catalogue outlining merchandise, pricing and shipping details and the management of customer transactions are typically kept in-house, the latter requiring the retailer to arrange a Merchant Account with their bank to facilitate credit / debit cards payments and so forth.
More advanced retailers may provide links to their sites from affiliates and partners and in some cases will provide their catalogue for use with other ecommerce engines on complimentary sites. Any purchases made on these third party sites may or may not be visible to the retailer and to understand external interactions with their catalogue and merchandise they must put in place some data sharing protocol with these external sites so that marketing intelligence is fed back to the source retailer. However, the same customer may not look the same on the retailers own site as they do on an external site – they may have a different username; personal details; email address and so on. Therefore the task of understanding patterns in the behaviour of consumers becomes more difficult.
Very few retailers have the advertising and marketing budgets to drive large volumes of traffic to their sites and to promote their products on third party sites. Even fewer have the ability in the event that they do succeed in driving traffic to understand the consumers’ behaviour across all connected sites and to provide sticky enough content to ensure that the consumer returns for repeat purchases. For the individual looking to monetise their content, promote an event or sell tickets to a concert then all of these elements – web site development, affiliate network management, hardware costs, software costs, merchant accounts, maintenance costs, hosting costs, customer service and so on are barriers to commerce transactions for all but a few.
These barriers prevent a huge proportion of online commerce from taking place. Imagine the latent demand that exists for incidental commerce transactions such as the garage band who wants to promote a once off gig or sell a small issue EP – they cannot justify the time, cost and effort to set up even the most basic ecommerce functionality to promote these types of transactions but there is no doubt of the demand for these transactions in an online format, if they were available. That is where OWJO disrupts the traditional model. It allows – in particular with social media integration – the monetisation of vast amounts of bespoke content, specialist merchandise and other incidental products that otherwise would never transact over the digital channels. In addition, it is scalable enough to meet the demand should the “viral effect” take place. While allowing this it also makes available to these retailers a level of sophistication in business intelligence, personalisation and marketing informatics that only the largest retailers can afford to invest in at present. All for free until a transaction takes place.
The key feature of OWJO, aside from the depth of functionality it offers, is the way the consumer interacts with an OWJO hosted ecommerce solution and the view that the retailer has of that consumers behaviour across otherwise unknown or invisible interactions with their merchandise. Check it out at www.owjo.com – it is free to set up and own. You only pay 7% when a purchase is made which compares to 30% for FB credits and 15% plus on eBay. OWJO will take care of the payment processing so you don’t even need a merchant account to be in a position to accept every available credit and debit card. Also and most importantly there are no “click-offs” – the transaction takes place right there on your store whether that be in the FB news feed, on your blog, website of iPhone app.
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