June 14, 2012
Earlier this year, I questioned the definition of social commerce. In my opinion, social commerce means much more than conversions and sales.
If you continue to believe that social commerce is just an order placed on a Facebook Store, the future isn't that great. And if you include conversions on your own websites from inbound social traffic, social commerce still doesn't look too promising. My argument was, and still is, that retailers need to pay a lot more attention to reach and customer service in order to create a successful social commerce program.
Reach will be supported by user-generated content as a result of enabling consumers to explore products, share, and collaborate. Proactive, not reactive, customer service will allow retailers to leverage this content or diffuse a potential harmful situation to their business. Of course, both types of these interactions lead to a transaction between buyer and seller, regardless of where it takes place.
So how can online retailers create engaging and viral experiences that drive purchases?
Last month, something from Klout on this front caught my attention. I may be late to the party, but the gamification of Klout through its Perks program is fantastic. And considering how many retailers tried to replicate their own versions of flash sales and deals of the day as part of their existing ecommerce business, gamification could be a great next move.
When consumers share products and leave reviews, give them points. Then use a formula that considers average order value and other metrics ranked via a leaderboard that rewards those at the top of the list.
It's human nature to compete, want to be better than someone else, and win. Say what you want about a website like foursquare, but I continue to hear from a colleague (and others) who's really proud to be the mayor of his local Domino's Pizza.
And then there's the Klout naysayers, who usually are people whose Klout scores rival how many years of school they completed.