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From $35 a month, PowerReviews is offering an Express version of it’s social commerce solution.

Like its big brother PowerReview Express works as a ‘decision accelerator’ for shoppers on e-commerce sites, giving shoppers confidence to buy by showing customer reviews (and quick scan review summaries).  Does this mark the mainstreaming of social commerce?

Before, we had to have a reason to embrace social commerce, but with no real price barrier, now you have to have a reason not to embrace social commerce.

True to Dave Beisel’s original definition of social commerce – PowerReviews Express is essentially about adding user-generated advertorial content to e-commerce sites, and in doing so making what you sell more persuasive.

Psychologically, user-generated advertorial content (i.e. user reviews) adds what communication psychologists call “source credibility” to a message, a key variable in persuasion.  From a psychological perspective, what I therefore think would further turbo-charge the effectiveness of PowerReviews Express  is if users could see reviewer profiles (and their reviews) on third-party sites (e.g. Facebook by Facebook Connect or on Twitter) (as promised by PowerReviews SocialMegaphone).  This would give the reviews more source credibility, which means more persuasiveness, which means more sales.

Finally, and staying with the psychology of persuasion and source credibility, the big opportunity for PowerReviews, I think, is to add expert reviews into the mix.  Perceived expertise is a key variable in source credibility; sure we’re persuaded by “people like me” (in psychobabble “differential identification”), but we’re more persuaded by perceived expertise.  The cult of the expert wins out over the cult of the amateur.

So if I was doing R&D for PowerReviews, I’d be looking very carefully at Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes.

Expert Review Aggregation is the future of social commerce.  You heard it here first.

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