Social Media isn’t all that different

So this post is inspired by the kid who lives across the street from me, and sells fruits for a living. And mind, he is damn good at it. (Wal-Mart -getting FDI approved is the smallest of your problems!) Just as I was bargaining with him, which seems to be part of the norm, he smiled, said I was a very important customer and that he would never cheat me and that he had in fact put in some extra apple for the same cause. With the smile to boot, it was tough for anyone to say anything. Just as I was leaving, he said – come buy your vegetables soon!

Up-sell.

The same strategy that the confines of some of the finest business schools in the world will teach all retail students is already known to this kid, who should be in the 6th grade with now. Fascinating!

Working in e-commerce, it got me thinking about how the relationship between the customer and the merchant is any different online. We give our valued customer coupons, Pre-paid credits and discounts that are much like the Rs.5 this kid gave me off. Its to build relationships. And given that its tough to that since you don’t see the customer, we have social media.

Engage with us – smile with us, like us – is everything that the normal retailer does when you go their store. The same works for us here.

Referrers – almost with any industry in the world, referrers will always have a higher conversion and engagement rate than the rest of the customers who just happened to end up at your store. Hell, the hospital, doctor, surgeon, dentist industry thrives on it. And why not, it adds value. For at the end of the day, we are all but a social species that will trust a human preference more than one that is generated by code (sly reference to the future here). We see the same thing here in e-commerce, and that why we try divert resources there.

Everyone wants to build meaningful, sustainable businesses that add some value in society in general. Social media just enables it in a far more accessible way.

Note: With every Ying, there must be a Yang. This is the Ying of the argument. Wait for the Yang tomorrow. #weirdsentences

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