First up at PodCamp Toronto was a morning session on Semantec Commerce by Jérome Paradis, a local Montreal developer and entrepreneur.
Jérome Paradis kicked off PodCamp Toronto 2010 with an interesting presentation on the evolution and future of ecommerce. He discussed his vision for a shopping interface which aggregates products and data from a multitude of online merchants. The goal being to provide a simple and standard process for the online shopper by bringing together data from many merchants. Although ecommerce processes and how we shop online have not evolved too much in the past decade, Jérome thinks the future of ecommerce will eventually progress to a more social and user friendly landscape.
Semantic Commerce, a.k.a Ecommerce 3.0, will allow the shopper to:
1. Easily browse, find and compare products from different vendors on one simple interface
2. Store and re-call profile info, shipping address and payment data
3. Unify order history in one place
4. Offer heightened security as the user maintains control of their own data
5. Allows aggregated data to create a contextual shopping experience
From an online consumer’s perspective, this all sounds like a natural and interesting progression to buying online. The idea of having access to multiple vendors along with having my buying information and data centralized is very appealing. For the vendor, these types of applications would also have a variety of benefits, including new and important traffic sources. The challenge lies in successfully selling the concept to online retailers, convincing them re-organize their information and open up there databases with an API for third party developers.
His long term vision is for a simplified and enhanced online shopping experience, eventually available across all web enabled devices including traditional internet, mobile and TV. As of now, it is still just that, a vision.
In the short term, Jérome is working hard on a start up called Shwowp with co-founder Tara Hunt. From his PodCamp session this morning, not too much was revealed about Shwowp. The speculation is that it will be an online collaborative which will marry the search and social aspects of the web for an augmented online shopping experience. Shwowp.com will certainly serve as another step in pushing this idea of Semantic Commerce forward.