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June 21, 2021 | Authored by: Roy Barak

E-commerce subscriptions: The next unicorn

“You should be able to click and buy something on Twitter.” That’s not your teenager talking. It’s the CFO of Twitter.

Social media is changing.

It’s no longer just a place to chat with friends, see photos, or share memes; it’s where people shop. It’s the latest e-commerce destination.

Even Twitter gets it: e-commerce is the quickest way to accelerate growth and bring a company from a moderate financial position to a great one. But why? Let’s deconstruct what’s going on with e-commerce and find out.

See, want, buy

The online consumer journey is fairly straightforward – see it, want it, click and buy it.

At the same time, social media is overflowing with visual content and product images.

Now let’s put those two worlds together. Take Instagram Shopping. A post is not just a post; it’s a way to connect viewers to products, like a virtual catalog or shop window. See it, want it, buy it. Simple.

Furthermore, influencers on social media are sort of like salespeople, but with a huge advantage – they are “real.” Consumers can get a personal take on a product and see how it looks on someone they follow and admire. Their connection to the item deepens, and from there it’s smooth sailing to click and purchase. Why go to the mall or stand in line at a store, when you can take a virtual stroll among all your favorite brands, and buy what you want, straight from your phone?

The ultimate “bundle”

By turning Instagram into an e-commerce platform, Mark Zuckerberg was in no way reinventing the wheel. The social network was already bursting with products – all that was needed was to connect that content to online stores. With Instagram Shopping, he accelerated the power of the platform he already had.

In a sense, Zuckerberg created the ultimate bundle: the social media environment and the e-commerce experience.

E-commerce: everyone wants in

The statement by the CFO of Twitter only reinforces a broad and deep shift towards “e-commerce-ization” of existing digital platforms.

It’s already happening. Lady Gaga posts on Insta about how much she loves her new MacBook, with a #Macbook hashtag linking to the product page in the iStore. Brands develop apps that are essentially digital catalogs, but much more. Customers browse and submit an order. All their shipping and payment details are already saved, so the purchase is absolutely frictionless and fast. Via the app, the customer can even return unwanted items, by locating the nearest physical store or scheduling a home pick-up of the item.

Ads are no longer enough to provide a growing revenue base in the new digital economy. Twitter can’t rely on advertising forever, and the CFO knows it. Consumer demand for content is already satiated. Now, focus on the next level – seamless, instant shopping experiences.

Richer e-commerce connections

It’s all about enriching e-commerce connections, which is what we do here at Vindicia.

Our end-to-end subscription tech platform connects people to the things they love via similarly rich, ongoing experiences. With MarketONE, brands can create satisfying, value-added, recurring offers delivered in a frictionless, comfortable, and easy way, without any effort on the part of the customer.

What customers want is provided to them every week or every month, and they don’t need to remember to request it or pay for it. It happens automatically. And so does the brand’s revenue.

What’s more, the ability to bundle is a game-changer, enabling brands to personalize and optimize their subscription offerings based on smart data about the user’s consumption patterns and preferences.

After all, consumers have been making one-time purchases online for years. Now they are buying via social media. Why not take it to the next level with automatic, recurring subscriptions that drive revenue and growth? And why not even sell those subscriptions via social media, like Instagram and Twitter?

Looking for the next unicorn? Look at subscriptions

For CFOs, the “future of finance” is not just theory. The need to find the next avenue for growth is a very real challenge. Patterns of consumer behavior around online shopping are already clear, and brands are following more channels and methods to expose customers to their products and accelerate growth. Today, it’s social media shopping. Even the CFO of Twitter agrees.

Next stop? Subscriptions.

About Author

Roy Barak

Roy Barak

Roy Barak is Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer at Vindicia. With over a decade of experience in the financial planning and analysis aspects of the IT and telecommunication industries, Roy brings extensive expertise in pricing models, financial modeling, and working with senior management to transform existing business lines and generating new ones. Previously, Roy worked at Amdocs, Vindicia’s parent company. Here he held key financial positions that supported the establishment of an internal accelerator, which introduced half a dozen successful new offerings. Roy also worked with the Amdocs services sales arm in transforming commercial and pricing models.