2014: the year shopping becomes a game

2014: the year shopping becomes a game

This is our third prediction for 2014. For our other predictions, click here.

The internet has always been about competition. I'm the Foursquare Mayor of this kebab shop. Her cute kittens blog just jumped up 1,000 places in the Alexa rankings. You have 934 unread emails in your inbox since the Christmas break (yeah, we know - painfully true). And these things have massively benefitted the bewildering growth of the 'net.

But the one aspect of the internet which hasn't - until now - profited by man's inherent need to compete is shopping. Don't get me wrong - we all like to brag about how we bought our house for £Xk less than the asking price, or how we jumped in and 'won' an auction seconds before it closed. But there's only ever one winner in those scenarios. Competition (until now) has never helped promote growth; it's never benefitted the masses.

That's going to change in 2014.

Up until now, when you said "Social-Commerce" people would think "f-commerce" and remember those terrible store-fronts bolted onto brands' Facebook Pages. Now, there's nothing wrong with aspiring to sell to a billion people on Facebook but, if you're going to distract people


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2014: the year writers become sellers

2014: the year writers become sellers

This is our second prediction for 2014. Keep up to date with the next ones here.

The past few years have seen retailers storm into the world of content, grab it by the baubles and stuff it like a turkey. That's why Tesco Magazine is now the most read publication in the UK. Bigger than The Daily Mail. Bigger than The Sun. Bigger than The Daily Prophet. Amazing.

And it's not just print media. Retailers have started dominating the world of online content, too - be that bespoke recipes from Heston and Delia on the Waitrose website or the uniquely useful product videos at Appliances Online. So... where do old-fashioned content players fit into this? How do the newspapers and the magazines and even the blogs compete?

They compete by dishing out a dose of the same medicine, that's how. If retailers are going to do content, content producers need to reciprocate by doing retail. And they're uniquely positioned to do it, too - with amazing audiences, established positions of authority and unique sway with brands and suppliers. But a commercial play won't work if content producers just try to bolt some crumby old affiliate store onto their websites. They


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2014: the year the internet saves you the bother of sharing

2014: the year the internet saves you the bother of sharing

This is our first prediction for 2014. Keep up to date with the next ones here.

Dave likes unicycles. Sandra likes Dave. Dave likes Sandra's new unicycle. Sandra is in a relationship with Dave. Dave quit Facebook.

Sharing things on Facebook is great, but it's a lot of effort. And that's a problem for marketing folks. Wouldn't it be better if Facebook just knew when Dave or Sandra did something, then it could go and tell all their friends about it without either of them having to lift a finger? (All within acceptable, opt-in-and-out-able privacy settings, naturally.) Well, that's now possible thanks to Facebook's Custom Open Graph and the arguably-dark-art of "frictionless sharing".

And it's going to be massive in 2014.

We're already seeing it to some degree - whenever one of our friends reads something on The Guardian or plays some music on Spotify, they're not usually sharing that with us manually, there's just been some nifty development behind the scenes and it happens automagically. And that's going to increase exponentially in 2014, as developers realise that the triggers which generate these frictionless shares can be embedded on any website. That means a user just has to accept an


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2013: the year shopping becomes a game

2013: The Year Shopping Becomes A Game

The internet has always been about competition. I'm the Foursquare Mayor of this kebab shop. Her cute kittens blog just jumped up 1,000 places in the Alexa rankings. 934 unread emails have arrived in your inbox over the weekend (yeah, we know - painfully true). And these things have massively benefitted the bewildering growth of the 'net.

But the one aspect of the internet which hasn't - until now - profited by man's inherent need to compete is shopping. Don't get me wrong - we all like to brag about how we bought our house for £Xk less than the asking price, or how we jumped in and 'won' an auction seconds before it closed. But there's only ever one winner in those scenarios. Competition (until now) has never helped promote growth; it's never benefitted the masses.

That's going to change in 2013.

Up until now, when you said "social commerce" people would think "f-commerce" and remember those terrible store-fronts bolted onto brands' Facebook Pages. Now, there's nothing wrong with aspiring to sell to a billion people on Facebook but, if you're going to distract people from chewing the fat (gnashing the gristle?) with their friends, you need to


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Social commerce is about to hit LinkedIn

Social commerce is about to hit LinkedIn

200 million members (including over 11 million right here in the UK), plus 2.7 million company pages - no wonder LinkedIn generates over $250 million every year. But how much is your company making directly from LinkedIn? We're guessing nada.

That's going to change in 2013 - the year when LinkedIn becomes THE destination site for B2B social commerce.

Think about it: just about every soup manufacturer in the country has a company page on LinkedIn. Just about every canned goods buyer has a professional profile. And, thanks to LinkedIn's extremely granular search functionality (which puts the likes of Facebook to shame) and its flourishing network of groups, it's only a matter of time before the former companies are able to collect the latter buyers into harmonised, communal transactions - meaning they'll be able to shop collectively, securing the kinds of bulk-buy discounts usually only enjoyed by the supermarket giants.

Of course, we're not just talking about soup. We're talking about everything from financial services to corporate car fleets, from nannying to deep-sea mining. We're talking about the entire world of B2B social commerce, an absolutely massive step-change in the way we do business.

We can't go into detail,


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