Today in Social

Ryan Kim has a good Long View on American Express’ potential in the local social commerce space. He  points out some of Amex’s strengths: it’s the card issuer, so it has direct relationships with merchants and users; it does not require a 50 percent cut (self-serve deals are free for merchants); it has a big sales force already; it has a simple (for the user) redemption process where discounts are auto-applied when the purchase is made via the user’s card. Potentially, Amex can offer marketing insights to merchants based on its own analysis of shopping and social commerce purchase patterns. In theory, Amex has access to a lot more purchase info than Google or Groupon. That same pool of data will help it better target offers to users, too. But Amex’s expertise as a big data analyzer and distributor is unproven. Google has a broader variety of marketing services it can offer merchants, and Groupon and LivingSocial have their massive bases, but I suspect Amex will be a player in social commerce.

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David Card

VP Research Gigaom Research

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