If the first generation of eCommerce was the shopping cart, and the second wave was enabling all sales channels in addition to on-line sales, then we are now beginning a new trend: the creation of an ecosystem around offered products and services.
While the term 'social commerce' is still being refined, it is becoming apparent that with a wide portfolio of products there is a need to facilitate the interaction of communities -- vendors, customers, and even random visitors -- with your web presence. It has long been realised that knowledge within a company needs to be unlocked and made accessible to all its employees. The current challenge is that the same knowledge, if marshalled in the right way, can enable internal and external communities to use it, build upon it and add to it, thereby positioning your products in the proper context in the right ecosystem.
Doing so in a cost-effective manner and with tangible results remains the challenge.