Next Generation E-Commerce

Excellent article by Simeon Simeonov at Web 2.0 journal on the relatively quiet revolution going on in e-commerce.

“E-Commerce 2.0” – The Velvet Revolution — With all the noise the Web 2.0 revolutionaries are making, it’s easy to ignore another – this time velvet – revolution: ‘E-commerce 2.0’ is coming into maturity and getting ready to relieve its now ten-plus year old predecessor. It’s about time.

He opens with a good general discussion of the situation many e-commerce sites are in: sitting on old platforms (built 6-8 years ago in the first web boom), facing consumers with increased expectations, more pervasive broadband, and more potential competition both from the usual suspects and from new “independent” and “virtual” companies.
He focuses in on three “big trends”:

  1. Rich Internet Apps
  2. Disaggregation accelerating (ratings, reviews, payment, price comparison)
  3. Social Commerce

And points out that, as always, a shift of this magnitude “creates an opportunity,” specicially:

for three kinds of players: (a) system integrators who move quickly to assemble necessary pieces into solutions, (b) a new generation of e-commerce platform companies such as Allurent, which I’m an investor in, and (c) the network-wide service providers such as ARPU, Google, BazaarVoice and PowerReviews.

I couldn’t agree more. Optaros obviously sees itself in the role of (a) in Simeonov’s description.

The one area which doesn’t get the attention it deserves – perhaps because (as Simeonov notes) it is too nascent at this point and they’re aren’t any truly compelling demos – is social commerce.

With all the other social networking, community interaction, and user contributed content going on in the next generation internet, why is shopping still such an isolated, individual activity?