Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Blomming, it's time for shopping: the italian social commerce platform

Blomming is the "social commerce" platform founded by Alberto D'Ottavi and Nicola Jr. Vitto which deserves to be known and used.

YES "social commerce" something that maybe you have been waiting for long time, is now available thanks to this new method of online shopping, the F-Commerce, i.e. purchases done directly on the Facebook social network. The application that allows all this is Blomming: it will create a shopping section within the facebook page of your blog/site which you can manage by inserting items for sale. Users will have the possibility to comment your products with the well-know "I like" and buy the exposed items. All fans of your page will display the items, and if they decide to buy only one item they will be redirected to the Blomming site to confirm the purchase.

One Step Back
Coming to think the sale potential of the network have been exploited since the beginning with private initiatives by many small vendors, craftsmen, creators who have found a way to extend the boundaries of their businesses by offering their works offline. Big marketplaces such as eBay were born fifteen years ago as people started selling goods to other people and had a strong social connotation since then onwards. Ebayers, as we like to call ourselves - yes ebay was one of my great companion during my college studies - we know each other firstly by product and nickname, more than by company name when provided. A marketplace like Etsy dedicated to craft and vintage products which are at least two decades old, is an interesting phenomenon not only in the United States, and for most of Italians who buy, but also for the majority of people who sell here their products online. The step forward is the idea that the access to online business, from the small to the most complex projects, is possible in different ways than the construction of the catalog model. And that this idea, this way of creating a business, is particularly suitable for artisans, enthusiasts, artists as well as for ordinary people who can also create combinations among different capabilities.

You know everything if you read "LikePicasso"

LikePicasso is Blomming's online magazine a space dedicated to creativity and new creatives. If you belong to these categories, if craftsmanshio and creativity are in your horizon, you cannot overlook this opportunity.

What comes next? the opening of a Blomming account
Currently there are no fixed costs or fees, except fees due to PayPal for the processing of payments. Blomming is a very wide opened and diffused system. In the traditional marketplaces, the sale takes place in the "walls" of the marketplace. Blomming allows you the creation of the traditional retail space, coupled with the opportunity to bring the proposal on your own blog, on a microsite on the Facebook page, removing the borders to the area for sale. 

Concluding with the words of Alberto D'Ottavi co-founder of Blomming, there are very few realities which are experimenting with the setting up of stores on Facebook and they are all solutions for big players. We for first, in Italy, wanted to pen this opportunity to all those who believe in the power of social networks and want to experience the F-commerce, but do not yet know how to do it. It is aimes at SMEs, micro-businesses, professionals such as artisans and designers and ordinary people. Anyone can use Blomming simply and intuitively, concludes Albeto D'Ottavi. 

Just a week ago, the Boston Consulting Group released a report, available only in Italian, (and titled how Internet is transforming the Italian economy) which shows that Italian SMEs operating in marketing or selling online have seen an average growth in revenues of 1.2% while firms that have a simple website or are not present on Internet have reported losses between 2 and 4%. Some weeks ago another report, released by Booz & Co. estimated the worldwide growth of Social Commerce as able to reach 30 billion dollars over the next five years. The web is a concentration of businesses of all sizes. And with nearly 19 million Italian registered users - of which 12 million active daily users (DAU) - Facebook is clearly the favorite place to look for customers and interact with existing ones.  

And you? What are you waiting for? Discover if among your friends there are your first customers. Enjoy your new online store experience powered by Blomming! ;)