Using Universal OpenSky checkout, a consumer can buy in-platform from the merchant. While “traditional ecommerce” has an average conversion rate of 3%, Canelo claims OpenSky has seen 10.5% conversions tied to the OpenSky product feed.
OpenSky can provide data about “which merchant and friends a consumer is following, what time of day they’re shopping, what products are going in their cart --information all the way through the funnel to the cart,” he said. Through a Merchant Dashboard, retail brands and merchants can pack and ship with one-click fulfillment orders through a single portal.
More and more retail brands are looking to build Uber-like experiences that facilitate an “advanced, contextual experience” between the merchant and consumer, according to Sucharita Mulpuru, VP and principal analyst at Forrester. The problem is, it’s expensive. “The price tag is typically no less than $5 million and often goes up to $50 million.”
Developing a service like eBay Now, for example, brings local product delivery (within an hour) to mobile apps users so they “can see, in real time, where both parties (merchant and buyer) are in the transaction,” Mulpuru said. The ultimate question is, how viable is it for brands to reinvent a sometimes decade-old supply and distribution network to facilitate the kind of social and mobile experience an OpenSky affords?
In the end, such as with Amazon, brands will have to decide if they even want to relinquish some of their transaction data to a third party in return for social clout.