The Social Aspect Of Online Retail
Versus visiting a mall or any other type of shopping center, many online retailers tends to be singularly focused on one aspect of shopping, the final purchase.
There is no sense of wandering through the aisles, watching others as they shop, or having someone with you to provide advice.
What is missing is the social aspect of buying something, which is one of the foundations of the Web 2.0 experience. And for some online retailers who are not optimized to take advantage of this, this is a missed opportunity.
According to a recent Guidant\Synovate eNation study, more than 60% of respondents report being drawn to online retailers that employ Web 2.0 tools and techniques.
These social tools include soliciting feedback and providing recommendations on products and services, along with welcoming them and making them feel part of a community.
The reason why this is critical is that word of mouth is one of the primary influencers in having a consumer purchase one product over another.
According to this Nielsen Online Global Consumer study, recommendations from consumers are the most trusted form of advertising out there, along with consumer opinions posted online.
An enhanced online shopping experience isn’t necessarily fancier graphics or flash programs.
The best online retail experiences are the ones that lever one of the most important aspects of offline shopping, the social aspect and the opinions of others.