Your Opinion Matters

Internet shopping and reviews have gone hand in hand for some time now. Anyone who is considering spending money online to buy a product or service that they can’t see or try before they commit to it has no doubt done their research in other ways – usually by researching the feedback left by previous users.

EBay, Amazon and Trip Advisor are just three sites that have built their own reputation on encouraging third party reviews and now almost every e-commerce site you can think of will have some kind of review or rating system. We are so used to seeing a star rating system or a comment box that if a site doesn’t allow reviews we wonder why not.

When I shop on-line or off-line, I always check both expert and consumer reviews. Whether for a book, something for the home, or for a larger purchase, such as an automobile or furniture, reviews are essential.  How have other people enjoyed their purchase?  What is the good and the bad?  Ultimately it is your decision, but we want to make these decisions with as many facts as possible.  This has been going on forever, but now, with the world as connected as it is, we have become even more dependent on reviews.  Years ago we would  ask our parents, relatives or friends for their advice.  Today, we not only ask them, but we ask experts and people we do not know for their opinions.  Just the way it is.

Check out the statistics on opinions below:

review-of-reviews-peopleclaim

Thanks to the people at PeopleClam for putting this terrific infographic together. http://www.peopleclaim.com/

Tell it like it is.

Webman

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Showrooming

And yet another new word enters our vernacular.  Use to be we went to the showroon (a noun).  Now we go showrooming (a verb).  Kind of like when Google was a noun (Name of the company) and not a verb, “Just Google it?”

So what exactly is showrooming?  From Wikipedia – Showrooming is when a customer visits a brick and mortar retail location to touch and feel a product and then goes online to buy the product at a lower price. Online stores often offer lower prices than brick and mortar stores because they do not have the overhead cost.

48 million consumers or 20 percent of the U.S. population will use their smartphones to showroom.

The number of shoppers engaging in showrooming during the 2012 holiday season is expected to increase by 134 percent, with mobile behavior influencing between $700 million to $1.7 billion in retail purchases, according to a new report from IDC Retail Insights.

The report reveals some of the ways that retailers can address showrooming, with approximately 70 percent of shoppers planning to showroom this season saying they will be “more likely” to buy from retailers who offer full-featured mobile Web sites, provide omni-channel convenience across stores and Web sites, support smartphone shopping apps and offer price comparisons via QR codes.

  • Big ticket items, in particular those that consumers can easily evaluate by reading descriptions, specifications, ratings, and reviews will be the most showroomed items this year.
  • 7 to 13% of consumer electronics shoppers will use their smartphones at least once in stores this season; showrooming activities will touch 1.4% of consumer electronic sales.
  • Apparel and footwear is the second most heavily showroomed category. Between 4 and 8% of shoppers will showroom this category this year affecting about 1% of its sales.
  • 64% think what they’ll learn in the store with their smartphones will have at least as much influence on their decision as what they’ll learn online before coming into the store
  • 56-60% of shoppers with their smartphones in-hand say that they will be “more likely” or “much more likely” to buy what they find in the store as they shop this season when assisted by trustworthy knowledgeable store associates.
  • 41% of showrooming shoppers say that they will be “more likely” or “much more likely” to rely on their smartphones when they encounter retailers who offer private or exclusive merchandise.

You can check out a bit more on this at http://www.idc-ri.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS23789012

Here is an awesome chart from Accenture:

Retail is getting quite complicated.

Webman

Pinterest Moves Merchandise

In our previous discussions about Pinterest, we discussed why the easy to use site was growing like a weed and attracting new users at an incredible rate.  For a quick refresher, Pinterest is a pinboard-style social photo sharing website that allows users to create and manage theme-based image collections such as events, interests, hobbies, and more. Users can browse other pinboards for inspiration, ‘re-pin’ images to their own collections and/or ‘like’ photos. Pinterest’s mission is to “connect everyone in the world through the ‘things’ they find interesting” via a global platform of inspiration and idea sharing. Pinterest allows its users to share ‘pins’ on both Twitter and Facebook, which allows users to share and interact with a broad community. (Information sourced from Wikipedia)

Here is a brief tutorial to get you started.

Pinterest is now the 3rd most popular social network site in the world, and ecommerce stores can leverage its popularity to significantly increase traffic and sales, according to Shopify.   Shopify is an e-commerce platform that allows individuals and businesses to create online stores.  They have over 25,000 on-line merchants using their platform.  Nice sample size 🙂

Merchants care about moving product, making money and driving customer loyalty.  They want us to buy stuff.  Pinterest started as a pin board but now many of those pins come with price tags that enable you to click and buy the item you might be pinterested in (See what I did there).  Here are a couple of examples.

So all you have to do is click on the price and you are taken to the site where you can purchase the item.  Do people do this?  You bet they do.  Check this out.

$80 bucks per average order.  More than all of the big players.  Impressive.

The world of e-commerce continues to change.  Check out the rest of the infographic at http://www.shopify.com/blog/6058268-how-pinterest-drives-ecommerce-sales

Enjoy the day.

Webman