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With 70% of people said to trust consumer opinions posted online, ecommerce sites are wise to use social proof to increase buyer confidence.
Social proof (online, that is) takes many forms. Reviews are perhaps the most obvious example, but this can be conveyed in other ways.
Here are some examples of sites using social proof to convince customers to take the plunge...
Is social media, and the data it produces, overvalued? As companies continue to struggle the ROI from their social initiatives, some are starting to suggest that social's impact might have been overestimated.
But social media proponents say not so fast: social media is the digital channel for word-of-mouth, and although word-of-mouth has historically been hard to quantify, its importance is rarely questioned. Which raises an interesting question: instead of talking about social media, should we be talking about word-of-mouth?
While browsing ecommerce sites recently I noticed several examples of retailers that use questionnaires as a way of delivering product recommendations.
It’s not an approach you see that often, as sites more commonly recommend products using features such as ‘Customers who bought this product also bought’ or ‘Popular products’.
But that doesn’t mean questionnaires aren’t an effective tool. In theory, asking customers for their preferences adds an element of personalisation to the shopping experience and makes the recommendations feel more relevant.
This could in turn lead to higher conversions as the customer feels more confident about their product choice.
But does it work in practice? To find out, I tried out product questionnaires on three very different retail sites...
Foursquare has been on the list of candidates for the 'next big thing' for some time, but the location-based service's future seems uncertain.
Last week, reports surfaced that the company, which has already raised upwards of $70m in funding, was looking for investors to provide an additional $50m to $100m of capital at a valuation of $700m-plus. According to TechCrunch, investors aren't exactly rushing to check in to a deal.
Social video platform Unruly has today released findings that suggest viewers are far more likely to recall a brand name and engage with an ad’s message if a brand-led video has been recommended to them.
Carried out by Decipher Research, the study spoke to 976 18-34 year olds online, discovering that brand recall and association rose 7% among viewers who had been recommended the videos versus viewers that found them by browsing.
Backed by Peter Gabriel, The Filter is a recommendation engine that provides users with suggestions for music, movies and videos.
I've been talking to CEO David Maher Roberts about how The Filter has progressed since it launched last year, its recommendation services, and its applications for other businesses...
Based in Berlin, Quillp is a social network centred around books, which launched last year. It provides users with the chance to connect with other book lovers, recommend good reads, as well as allowing new authors to upload their work and get some exposure.
I've been talking to founder Alexander Braun about Quillp, providing product recommendations, and his experiences at last year's Seedcamp, at which Quillp made the finals...
Quillp is a social network startup based in Germany which provides book recommendations for other readers based on similar tastes, as well as allowing budding authors to upload their own manuscripts for others to rate, review, and comment on.
It has features in common with BookArmy and BookRabbit, as well as peer review sites for unpublished authors like Authonomy and YouWriteOn, so how does it compare?
Publisher Harper Collins has launched its book recommendation site / social network BookArmy to the public, after a couple of months in beta.
BookArmy indexes over 8m books, and invites readers to join the site, set up their own profiles and review and rate books. Titles can also be purchased via an affiliate link to Amazon.