For the true bibliophile, the book shop is one of the few retail experiences impossible to replicate online.
Yes, there are hundreds of extremely competitive ecommerce sites that offer cheaper-than-high-street books with free delivery, but what they're missing is the sensory experience of browsing a book shop's shelves; the touch, the smell and most importantly, the conversation.
I spent seven years working as a bookseller, and as my learned colleague Ben Davis will agree: once a bookseller, always a bookseller. It's impossible not to shoehorn one's innate love of books into most conversations.
Part of the joy of working with books is the interaction with the customers. It was extraordinarily easy to load up a customer with armfuls of recommendations when all they came into purchase was the latest Maeve Binchy.
This is where online book stores can match the offline experience: Conversation, interaction and engagement, all through the art of social proof.
I've previously gone into greater detail about social proof here: Whitbread and the power of social proof; this post mainly concentrated on the food, drink and leisure services as well as describing how social proofing works.
Here I'm going to use the examples discussed in that post and the examples in our 11 great ways to use social proof in ecommerce article to see how online book shops compare.
Many experts assume the social recommendation system is its killer feature.
But what exactly about this feature makes it so? What in fact is the magic sauce of Amazon?
Sure, there is some predictive value in keeping track of many different variables. There always is. It’s Amazon’s best kept secret.
But I am guessing it’s not only a secret for people outside of Amazon. If you would ask me what the most persuasive ingredient is of the sauce, I would say it’s copy.
The smartest algorithms make sure you get to see products that you love (to buy). A recommendation engine knows what you really want, what you really really want. Computing thousands of variables is the key to predicting consumer behavior.
Nah, I don’t buy it. The black box probably does have an impact, but I know for sure the copy has.
57% of users won’t recommend a business if they have a bad mobile site, a simple statistic that speaks volumes about the current landscape in mobile commerce.
Global mobile web usage is increasing exponentially and most businesses know they need a mobile strategy.
Building a mobile-friendly website is just the first step. What happens after that?
At Searchlove this morning, Distilled’s digital marketing consultant Bridget Randolph provided her own insight and guidance.
Amazon has topped yet another usability survey after delivering a consistently excellent customer experience across its desktop and mobile platforms.
House of Fraser came a close second followed by Marks & Spencer, Debenhams and Interflora.
The report from eDigitalResearch consists of user surveys that analysed the customer experience provided by 19 retail brands across three digital channels – desktop, mobile web and apps.
It covered six different sections of each site, including the homepage, search, navigation, product pages, shopping basket and checkout.
It’s Thursday, and as our usual meme-wrangle Ben Davis is off on a well-deserved break this week, it falls to me, dear reader, to take you by the hand and hurl you into the whirling vortex of fun-ness that we call t’interweb.
Here’s a whole buncha stuff that made us shoot milk out of our noses, including tweetfails, the internet of things and the long awaited return of Batman...
Amazon has overtaken Topshop to become the most popular retailer on Facebook, according to a new report from eDigitalResearch.
I’ll obviously lay down the usual caveat at the start – success on social isn’t just down to the size of your fan base. In fact we recently blogged about the dangers of measuring social based on fan counts alone.
But that doesn’t mean it’s not interesting to look at which brands are the most popular across various social networks.
Fans of feel-good 90s movies will recall Meg Ryan’s valiant but doomed struggle to save her corner bookstore from Tom Hanks’s big box rival.
Ecommerce niche sites have found themselves in a similar drama, battling to hold their place in the market and the SERPs against mammoth retailers like Amazon, Staples, and Walmart.
While these larger sites certainly have both marketing and SEO advantages: fast delivery, aggressive pricing, enormous SEO budgets, big brand preference from Google, an easier time adding or removing links, it’s important for niche site marketers to recognize that, in certain aspects, they can have an edge.
Amazon has recently begun testing its new built-in Pinterest imitator, Collections.
The service went live earlier this month and it looks nice and simple. Some are surprised Amazon has so brazenly taken on a competitor, but it certainly feels like a good addition to the well-established Wishlist and 'You might like' features.
Will this new personal aspect add some needed character to Amazon's marketplace? Will Pinterest be unaffected? I take a look at the new feature and ask some questions.
Around this time last year I wrote a post looking at which of the top 10 UK retailers use Pinterest.
Back then Pinterest was the new kid on the block with bags of potential for building brand identity and driving sales.
To find out whether those brands have persisted with Pinterest or decided the grass is greener over on Google+, I’ve revisited the same retailers to see whether they still use the network and how their strategies have altered.
The findings are below, but for more information on this topic check out our Pinterest for Business Report or our blog post on how the top 10 US retailers use Pinterest...
What would it take to get you to do what I want? If I looked you in the eye when asking? If it was a Tuesday? If your name sounded like mine?
According to scientists, it’s the last. We feel more warmly towards people or things we associate with ourselves, like if my name was Mary Anne and yours was Marilyn. They’re close enough in sound and visual likeness that I’d be more apt to do you a favor than one for, say, Richard or Jennifer.
These kinds of findings, argued Nancy Harhut at Integrated Marketing Week, have implications for marketers because we’re trying to get people to do things all the time: click on a link, choose our product over another, like our company on Facebook.
Knowing the instinctive, reflexive behaviors that people rely on when making decisions helps our marketing strategies and how we go about designing the prompts or triggers to get others to do what we want.
Harhut identified seven that will help you on your way to world domination.