August 02, 2010
Who's Crafting New Marketplaces in Social Commerce?The TechCrunch Social Currency event addressed a number of interesting topics including e-commerce/social commerce, mobile advertising, social gaming, geo-location services and online payments. In the panel on Social Commerce, moderated by TechCrunch's Jason Kincaid, we hear from some of the leaders in this space.
Aaron Batalion, CTO and Co-Founder, LivingSocial
Gurbaksh Chahal, CEO, gWallet
Kevin Hartz, CEO and Co-Founder, Eventbrite
David Marcus, CEO and Founder, Zong
Christian Taylor, CEO and Founder, Payvment
Below: David Marcus of Zong
"We do mobile payments and have partnerships with 200 carriers in 41+ countries. We allow people to buy things on their cell phone. We try to really get targeted so we can remove all the friction of a transaction. You have to integrate into carriers and build infrastructure. You have to build a payment structure with the proper back-end activity – it took us nearly 10 years to build it. With regard to social commerce, if you consider that there are several layers in social commerce (group buying), couponing and the local stuff like FourSquare, none of those apps have everything. When you walk into a place that offers coupons, you can be told, i.e., oh your friend bought this and you can also get it for half price.”
Below: Christian Taylor of Payvment
"There's stuff out there, 'if I become a fan, you get a discount' – we’re excited about where credits is going. It works great for digital goods, which is exactly what Facebook is focusing on. We hope it eventually gets into our space. We hope to provide the defacto payment platform.”
Below: Gurbaksh Chanal of gWallet
On Facebook versus gWallet, he says, “Facebook does a good job with credits, but if you look at the offers approach, they’re not doing it right. They’re not an ‘offer’ company, they’re a platform. It’s different than going to a landing page of a brand, which is the demand we create and provide. Over the past ten months, we have brought 120 major brands into the category – they love the space and love social gaming – every premium publisher would make more money through us and if they don't, we’ll write them a check for $20,000. We’re trying to take advantage of curiosity."
Below: Aaron Batalion of LivingSocial
"Our key consumer incentive is if you can get 3 of your friends to buy, yours is for free – what’s built into that is trust from people you know. Because we focus on hyperlocal, more trust is inherently built in…..people recognize something if its local.”
Below: Kevin Hartz of Eventbrite
“We’ve been doing a lot of experiementation with Facebook; we have various integration points with Facebook. Events are naturally social – you find about events in a social environment, i.e., what your friends are attending and doing. When Connect came out, and we saw the organic growth. We see this as a vector for fast growth, so we have integrated into Facebook and also Twitter with great success. Events and ticketing is very transactional – Facebook does some things very well but they’re not a transactional business.”
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