Social Commerce: Tread Cautiously

15 03 2009

This morning I was reading an article from The Social Times and though it would be interesting to share an entry on this site.  I must admint like many people I have subscribed to so many sites that I barely skim the headings, or delete the message.  However, today I took the time to actually read and think about the atricle written by Kristen Nicole titled: “Ribbit Makes Best Buy More Social and Mobile”.

My first reaction was: What is Ribbit?  A quick search on Google revealed that Ribbit is a company based in Silicon Valey, California and they have develoepd “an open platform for multi-protocol communication, empowering a new market of voiceware applications and services….With Ribbit, voice can become a rich feature that can be added to any application, on any device. ”  Well, we all learn something new every day but why was Kristen writing about Ribbit and Best Buy?

Well, Best Buy and Ribbit have teamed to enhance “social mobile commerce” to “share information regarding retail products and online shopping.”  I’ve learned another web 2.0 term and found out yet another method by which mobile devices and mobile learning are enriching our lives (and potentially making retailers richer by catering to those who are digitally savvy.)

Sharing information real-time means instant access to data, but will this type of venture lead to more informed consumers who will stop for a moment and further investigate before purchasing, or will we see more impulse buying for instant gratification? Technology and connecting socially using technology definitely enriches our lives but like everything it has the potential for abuse, particularly in our almost cashless society where buy now and pay later has become the norm. Will home shopping from the TV be supplanted by phone shopping from the Blackberry or iPhone?

The old adage “buyer beware” is just as relevant now as it always was.

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