September 5, 2013

E-Commerce & Social Networking Combined

open-sky-project-logoTaking e-commerce one step further is OpenSky* which, realizing that for many people shopping is a social experience, aims to bring that same experience online. 

As a food producer, you can create a store on OpenSky, complete with a easy-to-use ‘plug-and-play’ templates that make is clear where to add photos and where to add copy.  The interface itself, from a customer-standpoint, designed with an eye for the aesthetic, which may be part of why the site now boasts more than 2.5 million users.  It’s also worth noting, for food producers like yourself, that OpenSky has a dedicated Food & Kitchen portal where customers can go to find edible goodies.

But here’s where OpenSky differs from other e-commerce sites.  Not only can you create your shop and perhaps link your website, facebook, and other social media tools to it, but OpenSky tries to bring the social aspect of shopping to bear on the site:

opensky

Sounds great, right?  Well, there is one catch.  If you have a store on OpenSky your customers also have to be OpenSky members.  So, for example, if someone who follows your website wants to buy from you they will have to sign up for OpenSky before they’re able to do that.  Depending on who your audience is, some may be turned off by signing up for yet another technology tool.  That being said, you need to weigh that with the potential upside of your products being seen by hundreds, if not thousands, of new potential customers.

It should go without saying that before you sign up to work with any e-commerce platform (or really any partner of any kind), you should do your homework and fully investigate the company to make sure that it meets your needs and the needs of your customers.  If you want to learn more about OpenSky’s Merchant Portal, click here.

*I am not receiving any form of compensation for this article.

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