More from Allurent‘s CTO Fumi Matsumoto in the Ecommerce Times on social commerce in 2010, offering 7 reasons to do social commerce, and 7 tips for doing it right (Allurent software powers Reebok’s and Charlotte Russe’s foray into social commerce, (nb. Allurent defines social commerce narrowly as extending online shopping beyond e-commerce sites to social destinations – what we call the ‘putting tills next to watercoolers’ strategy)).
7 Reasons to do Social Commerce
- That’s where your customers are increasingly spending time
- Shopping is already often a social activity – people will want to shop online the same way
- Peer validation, which is important for many shoppers, is built into social commerce
- Product discovery is more fun and conducive to impulse purchases when in a social context
- If you don’t have presence on social media, your competitors will grab the social brand mind-share
- Social will be the more cost-effective way to capture traffic and market reach
- Social media gives you the ability to mine data and obtain market intelligence more effectively
7 Tips for doing Social Commerce right
- Start simple, learn, and iterate around what works. If you have social features already on your website, extend these into social destinations (reviews, registries, group-buying)
- Do not overinvest in risky projects too early – rather than plan a big one-shot project, work on small-effort projects
- Get the basics right – such as analytics instrumentation — so that each project can be measured and used in planning for the next.
- Take advantage of proven solutions that allow you to experiment easily with little time or investment.
- Don’t make your solutions dependent on downloading or installing applications or widgets, it’s a huge barrier to take-up
- It’s critical to give loyal and new customers a reason to shop in social media – through exclusive promotions or novel experiences/tools (special pricing, limited-availability products, early access to products, room configurators, outfit shopping widgets
- Follow the golden rule of the social media – listen closely and respond quickly
Finally, the article reiterates Allurent’s more general 3 step solution for how retailers can benefit from social media.
- Establish social media presence (Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Company Blog)
- Create affiliate partnerships with social media sites (social shopping portals (Kaboodle, Polyvore), third party expert/review blogs, and forums)
- Implement social commerce – establishing storefronts where you have a social media presence
Allurent believe that whilst 2009 may have been the year of social media for retailers (64% investing in social media (Forrester), 54% with a Facebook presence (Internet Retailer)), most of the activity has been restricted to interactive marketing (straightforward presence in blogs, or other third-party social media such as Facebook, Twitter or YouTube). Now, they argue, is a great time to start laying out the road map for social commerce – to keep up with — and even surpass competitors. Allurent believe that 2010 will be the year of social commerce experimentation, with heavy experimention by early adopters. They see mainstream adoption occurring in 2011.