eBay gets Social with Latest Engagement Tool, Svpply

Social commerce has won over eBay with the online retailer buying into a word-of-mouth recommendation tool, Svpply, where people can share products they like with others in their community. This is the latest acquisition venture for the online retailer after other similar investment deals in the past.

Svpply lets you share products with your social community.

Svpply includes products from an array of websites that have been added organically by the users. There are currently 1.1 million products in the online store, and about 3,000 new products are added each day. Through the social network, Svpply works with more than 70,000 stores and brands, and eBay now wants to give the online businesses access to their inventory and audiences.

Social media and its engagement properties have captured online businesses over the past few years, with many brands creating social identities on networks such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn as a way of interacting and engaging with their target audiences. The Sensis Yellow Social Media Report 2012 found that 79 percent of large businesses have a social media presence, while only 27 percent of small businesses and 34 percent of medium-sized businesses are present on social media channels.

This inactivity from small and medium-sized businesses seems a missed opportunity for many as the report also highlights the shift in consumer behaviours, finding 62 percent of internet users have  social network accounts. Facebook was the leading channel with 97 percent of respondents using the network, covering both sexes and all age groups, and users said they spent more than six hours a week on the site. While social media is not necessarily suited to all businesses, it does provide a fascinating social channel with which to engage, interact and learn about a specific target audience.

This is rockscissorpaper.com’s store on Svpply.

The above screenshot is an example of rockscissorpaper.com’s Svpply store, where people have added some of their most-loved products from the company. The community then has the opportunity to follow the store, recommend the products through their social networks, add the products to their own collections, and even click-through to the branded website to purchase the products.

On the Svpply blog the company says “we created Svpply three years ago with the goal of creating a unified online retail shopping experience by bringing shoppers, tastemakers and merchants onto a single site. Today, we couldn’t be happier to announce that we’ve been acquired by eBay Inc. We’ll continue to bring our users new products each day — allowing our loyal fans to explore beautiful products and stores, all of them hand selected by the community.” The blog continues on to say that eBay wants to expand its focus on merchandising, discovery and browsing, and will work with Svpply to create more personalised shopping experiences for ebay.com.

eBay’s latest social media venture follows its 2011 purchase of Hunch, a word-of-mouth sharing engine that makes recommendations based on similarities between people and their tastes. eBay also bought and sold StumbleUpon, another recommendation tool.

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