Remember it’s a free service for you, but Facebook makes a whole lot of revenue providing all the information they’ve harvested about every member. What’s interesting about these new business models is that many of them are ‘members only discount services’. In other words, they’re a bit of a spin on something like overstock.com (which recently tried to change its name to o.com, until customers rebelled). The difference is, these discount brands have targeted you based on the things they already know you like.
Today, I noticed an ad for LeftLane Sports on Facebook. Sure enough, it’s another discounter offering ‘up to 70% off outdoor, fitness and sports brands’. They currently have about 11,000 fans on Facebook and 4,300 on Twitter. In other words, they’re still getting off the ground.
My guess is thanks to social media, these types of companies are going to spring up around essentially every consumer product category. And then, there will be competitive offerings within the same categories. Followed by further segmentation within each of these – for example not the broader ‘fitness and sports brands’ category, but the more narrow ‘running shoes’.
People love deals and discounts. And thanks to the web, they’re learning where to find them for just about everything. Which means there’s going to be more pressure for every ‘non discount’ business to provide substantially better service and other types of added value.
So they’re going to have to harvest information about you, too. And then offer something more akin to personalized concierge service both before and after the sale. (Upscale restaurants and hotels – this means you as well.) In essence, they’ll have to get to know who you are, and what you like.
This won’t be an option. Because otherwise, you’ll just go someplace where you can find the same thing at a much lower price. And you’ll find it just by clicking on an ad that targeted you on Facebook.