Social networks are the distribution concept of the future

Consumer behavior is not only changing quickly but it is changing very fundamentally, partly as a result of social media. It's no longer a secret that the traditional push model, where consumers buy products as a consequence of advertising, is being completely set aside. The power now lies emphatically with consumers who are only receptive to real and reliable information. And it is precisely due to this reliability that social networks play an important role.

Could it be that it is precisely the social component that forms the basis for new retail concepts? And what does this development mean and what is the future for "effective" product marketing? I think the future lies in a new form of retailing that no longer operates from traditional products on shelves, but precisely through personal recommendations. Marketers now know that only social networking makes it possible to get people moving.

New insights

These new insights confirm that we can expect a strong rise in new retail concepts focused on social commerce in the coming years. A new dimension in retail derives from the combination of information technology, the internet and the personal connection between people.

Why do I expect rapid acceptance of this new distribution concept?  Many people see that new distribution models based on a social network offer many opportunities for additional income. A development that leads to more consumers managing more and more of their own webshops. Not surprisingly, the Shop Socially platform claims that purchases by consumers via a social network convert 3 to 5 times better than via traditional channels.

Product information via a social network

Consumers are increasingly taking control. Business commitments result from the power of a social network. Satisfied users of products, who were persuaded to make their purchase because of the arguments of their personal network, are more relevant than a normal advertisement. Social networks offer product providers an attractive scope based on targeted recommendations. Targeted purchases are made precisely because people share interests or other characteristics with social networks of like-minded people.

Of course there are also critical objections. How reliable is the advice of a friend if he has an interest in the sale? I'm not worried about this. You are not going to spam your network if you don’t like something or you're not excited about it. And if your network doesn’t like something, this will be reported immediately. I really believe in the power of enthusiastic sharing of high quality products that you, as a supplier, also use.

The personal dimension makes social networks fun

What is often underestimated is that “social clicking” can also be fun. Because what is it that motivates someone to share their enthusiasm about a product or service? The products that have the best results are those where the customers 1) are genuinely enthusiastic about it and 2) really think that they are doing their friends a favor. The reward is important, but as a motivator it clearly takes second place. Intrinsic motivation surpasses all else. Social advice actually takes over the role of online reviews. Certainly with regard to complex products where reliability and enthusiasm are "key".

Social Intelligent Business Web

In the meantime, we know that retail growth can be found in "online platforms" combined with "personal communication and advice". The success of Bol.com and Amazon will be followed by new providers for whom social networks and e-commerce go hand in hand. New providers like Beyuna use a business model that is purely focused on personal advice. This gives consumers direct and exclusive access to high-quality products of a particular category. New distribution concepts eminating from social networks lead to a fairer distribution of income and to personal reward.

I am convinced that many business sectors will fade away as a result of the power that a Social Intelligent Web offers today. The power of personal business and social networks is increasing significantly. The same applies if we use social networks to optimize real-time information flows in business sectors. This will change the traditional Retail world at a rapid pace, bringing new opportunities for innovation, growth and the creation of more entrepreneurship through financial autonomy.

Added value to purchase process

Social networks are the new cornerstone of distribution and consumption. The future is for a new generation of businesses, where buyers and suppliers are linked to each other in a human social setting. Sharing knowledge adds value to the buying process. Business and networking will become automated among consumers. People-to-people contact is the only thing that is really able to get markets and products moving. Based on reliable information provided by people. 

A well-known quote from IBM's CEO Virginia Rometty illustrates this well! “You'll be rated by the information and value you create and how you share it.” This is her view of the new collaboration, where knowledge sharing, transparency and openness become important values.

At Beyuna, we are convinced that this is the future. Business success based on a social network full of quality and positivity.

Lucas IJsbrandy, CEO Beyuna