The idea of Social eCommerce sounds simple and effective: the user trust friends’ choice or suggestion and place the purchase. Social eCommerce services either have their own eCommerce platform or play as an agency with partnership of third-parties’ eCommerce platforms. This model could work well, we have profiled a few local services and it definitely is the trend of eCommerce.
in Social eCommerce, you basically have to face two things: a naturally growing social network and the eCommerce, and you need find a good balance of both. If you focus too much on eCommerce, the worst case is that lots of merchants might swarm in and spam purchase suggestions to the normal users, which could destroy the entire business model.
Gezbox, the Hangzhou-based startup is also targeted at the Social eCommerce area, but with a different strategy.
“Unlike other Social eCommerce services,” its founder, Zhen Feike told us, “Gezbox wants to focus more on building a healthy social network around people’s real purchase, and will not introduce eCommerce to the platform at this stage. ” And, GezBox excutes the idea with a mobile app (download).
Here is how it works. You take pictures of the product you bought, add some information such as the name of the product, the price, the place where you made the purchase then upload and share them with others. Every user can set which categories of products they are interested and the information can be used for e.g. friends suggestion. You can explore, search for and comment on shared content, i.e. the purchase by other. When users become friends, they can exchange their experience on the purchase as most likely they have the same interests.
Gezbox is self-funded and currently has a team of 8 staff. Zhen said they don’t want to rush into eCommerce, and the real purchase-related content shared by the users and the interaction among them is the key to GezBox’s success in a long term.