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The Future of Social Shopping

Paul Dunay
Global Managing Dir. of Services, Social Marketing

October 2, 2009

Paul Dunay is global managing director of services and social marketing at Avaya and author of “Facebook Marketing for Dummies.” He talks to eMarketer about the future of social commerce as it shapes up on brand Websites, Facebook and Twitter.

eMarketer: How do you define social commerce?

Paul Dunay: Social commerce is working with or using your social graph, which is defined as your followers or your friends, and allowing them to help you make buying decisions.

eMarketer: What role does Twitter play in social commerce?

Mr. Dunay: Social commerce can be anything from a buying suggestion or recommendation—perhaps a tweet from a Dell outlet saying, “Hey, we have a special on this”—to something like Facebook Connect.

Facebook Connect would allow you to go to a Website like and authenticate yourself using your Facebook profile, allow your identity to be known and access your friends so you could spark up a chat. So I could say, “Hey, Jeff, I’m looking at this new fancy laptop or this netbook. I heard you bought something. Would you recommend this to me?”

“You could almost take your friends shopping with you.”

So you could almost take your friends shopping with you. That is the potential with this example.

We’re in a period now where we’re all starting to get comfortable with Twitter and get comfortable with using Facebook and LinkedIn and a lot of these other tools, and now we’re about to expand.

In the next 12 to 24 months, you’re going to see things that you’ve never seen before and uses of the Facebook platform that you’ve never seen before.

I call these new social commerce events life-changers. No. 1 is the combination of search and your social graph—social search.

eMarketer: What is another life-changer?

Mr. Dunay: Another potential life-changer is what I like to call “Amazon going social.” When I look at my book on Amazon, I see it says, “Customers who bought this also bought...” It’s not exactly personal, because I could be at my wife’s computer seeing books she bought. Now, how personal is that?

“Amazon could easily turn on a Facebook Connect where they would allow you to import content from your social graph.”

But Amazon could easily turn on a Facebook Connect where they would allow you to import content from your social graph to say, “Your friends who also bought this bought some other item.” And that would carry a lot more weight with me.

The full version of this interview is available here, to eMarketer Total Access subscribers only. Every day they have access to new interviews with digital marketing leaders and trendsetting entrepreneurs.

Check out today’s other article, “Information Ahead of Opinion on Twitter.”


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