Saturday, June 12, 2010

e-Commerce moving to Social Commerce

According to ComScore, the 4th quarter of 2009 marked the sign of positive growth in the year with both retail and e-commerce showing gains. ComScore also stated that a social media is becoming an important driver of commerce, where social media influenced 28% of holiday purchases.

A recent report from FFP Global states that: “online shopping is moving from a transaction mentality to one that embodies discovery, entertainment and social bonding experience.”

The report goes on to list five key e-commerce trends for 2010:

Smarter Mobility: Smartphones have continued to grow due to their wider screens and applications. Mobile phone and handheld devices will see more applications to help drive ecommerce sales.
Fulfillment Rules: Retailers will begin to consider “regional fulfillment centers” due to rising fuel costs and the demand for quicker delivery times.
Customer Service: Consumers will begin utilizing an ever increasing number of communication channels: i.e.: texting, accessing information, free expression, immediate feedback, etc. All of these pose a challenge that e-retailers must take seriously.
Relevancy is Virally Important: E-retailers are starting to become more than suppliers of goods and services and must proactively develop a personality that market segments can accept. They must listen; actively engage in conversations with their current and potential customers and more.
Business Intelligence meets Business Process: In 2010, businesses will need to commit to the information in their data banks to create marketing and sales business processes to help provide them a competitive advantage.

According to a recent Razorfish report, “65% of consumers report having had a digital experience that either positively or negatively changed their opinion about a brand.” Additionally, “97% of that group said that their digital experience influenced their decision whether or not to purchase a product or service.”

Consumers are evolving quickly. Social Commerce is demanding that brands invite their customers to the "dinner table" and engage, listening, learning, and navigating new ways to facilitate need. Attention to detail in service and fulfillment remain cornerstone attributes for a positive "buying" experience. Give your best customers
more benefits not less.

Start rewarding and stop discounting!


Monday, June 7, 2010

Who is the Social Customer?

§ The social customer is engaged, consuming information in real time, learning about breaking news through Twitter and Facebook , favoring her personal feeds which she has curated and surfaced as important information.

§ The social customer learns about new products and brands through social channels and trusts her social network to provide honest feedback about it, as opposed to a brand’s one-way message of persuasion.

§ The social customer is smart, no longer responding to unsolicited SPAM in her social networks or overly promotional tweets, but is open to relevant information that meets her needs at that particular moment.

§ The social customer expects brands to be present and active in the same social venues where she hangs out, listening to her feedback, whether it’s negative or positive.

§ The social customer expects you to listen and engage with her, not only when it coincides with an e-mail blast or new feature release, but rather when she needs you. And you better respond fast, in real-time, or she will either move on to a competitor, or tell her friends about her bad experiences.

§ Because the social customer can talk to a brand through many channels at the same time, she expects everyone she talks to from your company to have the same background on her issue. For example, if I complain about an experience on Twitter, I want the representative who engages me there to know my relationship with the brand, and can easily view the history of interactions I have had.

Bottom line: The social customer owns the relationship, and you need to earn her trust and respect.


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