You’ll find useful social commerce planning guide from Optaros below, the software firm powering the social commerce site Rue La La.  The social commerce planning guide answers the following key question that is increasingly being asked by brands and retailers:

“We’ve done product ratings and reviews, what social shopping features should we implement now?”

The short answer is a three step decision guide.

Step 1: Determine which key metric you want to improve (Traffic, Conversion, Average order size, Shopping cart Abandonment, Loyalty, Brand Awareness, or  Return Costs and Product Support) – use evidence-based ROI model to choose.

Step 2: Review your options

  • Baseline: (Mainstream Tools) Ratings & Reviews (Conversion, Returns), Personal Recommendations (Conversion)
  • Strategic: (Tools Becoming Mainstream in Next 12 Months) – Merchant Blogs (Traffic), Alternative Reviews (Conversion, Returns)
  • Visionary: (Future Tools) Deal Feeds (Traffic), Private Events (Traffic), Shop By Preference (Conversion), Pop Culture (Conversion) Social Configuration [Threadless] (Conversion), Community (Traffic, [Loyalty]), Social Widgets (Traffic), Pull in Social Graph (Conversion), Shop Together (Conversion), Virtual Social Shopping (traffic)

Step 3: Rank order options from baseline to visionary – that are most likely to on impact your metric – and progress top three that best fit your business.

It’s a useful planning guide; we’d have added a number of additional social media tools (Optaros also add some extra non-social options – see presentation below).  Specifically, in the baseline section, we’d add FOAF (forward to a friend), SWYN (share with your network) and wishlists (Giftag). In the strategic section, we’d add Customer FAQs (Apple) Customer Driven Support Forums (Apple), and Referral Programs (Vente-Privée) and in the Visionary section, we’d add social network storefronts (1-800-flowers), group buy (Dell Idea Storm), and co-browsing (Charlotte Russe (perhaps ‘pull in social network’ covers this)).

Of note also is a link in the deck to 4 e-commerce myths that we think are particularly useful insights for social commerce planning:


We think myth 4, or rather it’s counterpart reality, “syndicate your store to the places on the web where people spend their time” (i.e. social networking) is going to be the mantra for social commerce in the coming year.

If you want the full benefit of Optaros’ wisdom and experience, here is the presentation (ignore the nag screen (not smart Slideshare…), just close it and you can continue with the presentation).