‘Tis the Season to Be Social

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Two months till black Friday, three months till Christmas morning, that time of year when shoppers are in the giving spirit, throwing caution to the wind, and pushing their credit card limits to the max…or at least that is the goal.   And they certainly do not like going at it alone.

This Christmas is about Social Shopping. The e-tail world has been introduced to a new level of social interaction amongst customers. The wind blowing from social nets is hitting online stores, calling for online retailers to incorporate a social dimension to their online search!  Trust us, we’re not making this stuff up.

The results are in.  An E-tailing Group study reveals that 67% of online shoppers buy more when friends give a nod.  Customers enjoy getting approval on their purchases and knowing what’s popular.  A shopper searching today doesn’t want yesterday’s style—she wants what’s hot right now. With Social Shopping technology, you can help out your customers figure out what to buy and help out your business by knowing what to stock.  Even Santa needs a little help every now and then… Some tools that were introduced this year help retailers do just that – make shopping a social experience:

  • Social Search Cloud provides customers with a cloud of popular searches, products, and brands of choice, revealing the community taste  immediately as you enter the online store.
  • Social Sort, gives customers the ability to arrange search results by social feedback, including top sellers, ratings, reviews, popularity, and more.
  • Share with Friends permits customers to refer products they find to their friends via e-mail and social networks. Shoppers sitting miles away can now shop together and exchange impressions at the click of a mouse.

Customers no longer feel they are shopping alone and gain confidence with their product choices, making that extra click to the checkout page. 

On the retailer side, advanced reporting lets the retailer get a head start on analyzing product popularity and identifying trend leaders, essentially  reading shopper vibes and voicing shopper buzz as it forms!

Of course, it goes without saying, none of the optimum online search essentials should be left behind.  As we noted in a previous blog of ours last year (155 Sleeps Away – Get Ready to Sell) there is a list of basic action items that an etailer should consider in the months leading to the Christmas season.  Just to jog your memory a bit, some of the mentioned items in the link above include sprucing up your UI, adding an auto complete solution to your search box,  suggesting cross-sell items based on your customers’ product choices, and adding more refinement options to further zero in your customers on the products they seek.  If your customers can’t find the products you are stocking, they cannot purchase them.

Lastly, it is important to remember, as mentioned in Latitude blog, that the success of online Christmas shopping will impact shoppers activity and likeliness to come back to your site.  So if you follow the checklist above and let Santa be social, you are in for a good new year of repeat business 🙂

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