I cringed when I used the "2.0" term in the headline of this post, but I think it's useful. In the past year, when people ask me what I think is interesting in web technology, I often talk about emerging new commerce models. And I point out that two of the most exciting companies to come out of the NY tech scene in the past few years are commerce platforms, Etsy and Gilt Groupe.
More than half of today's top 15 most trafficked websites today did not exist back in 1999. That is not a surprise, as Facebook, Youtube, Wikipedia, Myspace, Blogger, Live.com and Twitter are all new — and are representative of the massive amount of innovation and disruption that has occurred in the last decade.
Yet, of the top 15 most trafficked eCommerce websites today, just one of them did not exist back in 1999 (NewEgg – which launched in 2001). Which means that over 90% of the top eCommerce websites are over 12 years old! That is pretty remarkable to me — and reflects an amazing lack of external innovation (and disruption).
But just as social technologies changed the game in the media web in the last decade, I believe social technologies will change the commerce web in the coming decade.
Josh mentions some examples of where we see this happening already:
group buying, demand aggregation, game mechanics, flash/group sales, leveraging the social graph for customer acquisition and mobile
So the question is who will the YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter of commerce be? Maybe they exist today and will emerge as large scale web services soon. Or maybe they are still ideas in the minds of entrepreneurs and will be hatched in the coming years.
It's an area I am excited about and will be on the lookout for. Clearly I'm not the only one.