Research Note: Demand Side Aggregation to Transform Global Supply Chains

The confluence of three forces are creating the conditions of existence for seismic supply chain transformation at a global scale. These forces are:

  1. A foundational collectivist ethos, in which social ties and inter-personal connections anchor economic decision-making;
  2. Market scale potential – a purely quantitative condition; and
  3. Technical capacity to enable these two forces to be harnessed at low cost, at speed, at scale and with little hassle. Scaling via technology enables the network-trust effects of inter-personal connections to extend beyond the immediacy of intimate circles, in which digitalised information communication creates “as if-personal” qualities of indirect connections.
(c) 2020 Warwick Powell. Three Interlocking Pillars Transforming Global Supply Chains

These forces are coming together via social e-commerce technical platforms, which harness the foundational trust dynamics of guanxi networks (based on reciprocity, gifting and obligation) and expands their footprint via indirect network effects (friends-of-friends) and eventually through virtual personal connections-at-distance via the possibilities of video-enabled intimacy.

The spatial constraints to intimacy can be transcended via these dynamics and technical possibilities. Heretofore relationships of distance and strangers are, thus, transformed. People may have never met, but are no longer strangers strictly speaking.

LibertyPost – Social E-Commerce

Our social e-commerce partners at LibertyPost in China are not only responding to these dynamics but are actively creating tools that enable people to shape the future around gamified collaborative consumption.

Social e-commerce is powering trust-driven collaborative consumption

We continue to undertake research with the team at LibertyPost to build on existing knowledges and find new ways for value creation for mutual benefit. The rapid growth in consumer peer-to-peer referrals through enriched short video formats is one of those areas of R&D that our team is right across.

P2P dynamics is emerging is both a response to the need for, and a highly popular way of, creating greater authenticity in information about products and services. Mass-based anonymous ratings have been a prominent feature of first generation e-commerce, but are associated with a host of credibility issues.

In this space, we are observing a new layer of authenticated P2P, where videos sit at the heart of the medium.

Short videos and livestream formats are the new frontier of engagement

Research Collaboration Acknowledgement

These are just some of the findings emerging from our Export Smart Contracts Project we are collaborating on with Food Agility and Queensland University of Technology.