The great recession set the stage for new buying behaviors. Shoppers want to connect; and when they buy, they want to do so with greater certainty. A more conservative buyer is shopping. They have a growing distrust of advertising and branded social sites; and a greater need to connect them with “friends like me!” As a result, the federation and unification of review data across multiple websites is a foundational element to the Rise of Social Commerce.
This federated content combined with the use of expert insight –doctors, lawyers, sports enthusiasts– has two primary drivers:
- Let’s connect quicker! Reviews are no longer JUST about text. Based on data collected by PowerReviews from over 12 million reviews over the past two years, video is growing in popularity. While images have doubled, video reviews have grown 10X. Why have video reviews grown 5X faster? The answer is simple. People want to connect quickly with people like them. They want to do it quickly. Pictures and videos allow an instant psychographic connection. It answers the question, “Is this a person like me?”
- It is not about you! It is not about the brand. It is about the collective wisdom of the community: share insight from people that the buyer trusts. This is a marked change for a product-centric company that has built a living on push-based advertising about their brands. For now, tt is not about your website your fan page or your sponsored-communities. The shopper is a skeptic. They are the most likely to buy based on posts on third-party websites. In our research, the most informed buyers are turning to Amazon, Best Buy, EBAY, Staples, and Wal-Mart. Shoppers most frequently look at the most positive and the most negative reviews. When the data is abstracted for easy access it drives buying behavior. Look at the case study in figure 1.
In this case study, the Pros and Cons are easily displayed and there is tabbed navigation to enable a user to quickly find reviews from people like them. In the interviews for the Rise of Social Commerce, one company is actively listening to review feedback on over 800 sites. The use of syndicated reviews can be a powerful contributor to ROI. For one consumer electronics company, the syndication of review information across three retailer websites increased revenue 28%. How is that for a return on social?!!
If you don’t believe that the use of reviews is a powerful driver of customer buying decisions, get it straight from the mouths of the customer’s themselves. Check out these videos supplied courtesy of our friends at EXPOTV.