Socialight, Mobile Commerce, and The Frictionless Future23 Aug. 2011
“Existence is no more than the precarious attainment of relevance in an intensely mobile flux of past, present, and future.” – Susan Sontag
Imagine a world in which you can walk the streets of New York City and have curated deals automatically delivered to your smartphone based on virtually any criteria – your location, past consumption history, the time of day, or the proximity of your Facebook friends. Imagine that those deals are provided alongside crowd-sourced reviews, as well as related feature articles from your favorite publications (e.g. the New York Times) about the neighborhood you’re in, the history of the restaurants offering deals (if available), interviews with the chefs, and much more.
A compelling vision? Absolutely – and one that we believe ultimately serves as the benchmark for the evolution of our industry. Simply put, the winners in the daily deal space (and social commerce more broadly) will be those who understand how to effectively merge content and commerce into a seamless mobile experience.
This consumer excitement around mobile shouldn’t be surprising; ultimately, social commerce is an ideal mobile use case, as mobile technology (properly employed) allows for the elimination of friction in the deal delivery experience. This is clearly not lost on Groupon or LivingSocial, who continue to make massive investments in their mobile capacity, nor on Google, who continue their commitment to the integration of location, mobile, and contextual commerce with the recent acquisitions of Motorola Mobility and DealMap.
Presciently, our publishers issued a related edict at our Spring Client Advisory Board meeting: help us become leaders in delivering mobile experiences for consumers and merchants. In response, we’ve invested considerable resources and manpower in the development of cutting-edge mobile best practices and products for our clients. And with today’s acquisition of Socialight, Group Commerce takes another huge step toward the convergence of social commerce and content.
Throughout its history, Socialight has developed platforms to support location-based content at scale, and is therefore is ideally suited to deliver on the next phase of the Group Commerce vision: enabling our customer experience to be mobile, end-to-end. For a sample of some of the work they’ve done, check out the mobile web app they’ve developed for Boston.com Deals.
Of particular interest is the approach they’ve taken with our first mobile-optimized offering, for boston.com/deals. The team is developing the mobile web app and upcoming iPhone and Android apps using a combination of HTML5 and OS-specific app code that provides an experience that combines the fluidity of “native” apps with the flexibility and deployment ease of the web.
Over the next several months, we’ll be providing new mobile capabilities to each of our publishers and merchants that will deliver buying opportunities where, when, and how consumers want them, while also streamlining activation and redemption – so stay tuned. With SocialightFounder Dan Melinger overseeing Group Commerce mobile & social product management and Eric Entin leading the engineering efforts, Group Commerce is poised to continue to offer the most comprehensive group buying solution for premium publishers.« back to the Blog