When it comes to shopping, consumers have always preferred a more tactile and visual experience.
The growth of ecommerce and social networks like Pinterest means that brands are increasingly allowing, even encouraging, consumers to share images of products online.
Here, I'll look at how the mobile revolution and the prospect of wearable technologies like Google Glass are set to change how retailers can use images to drive both brand awareness and, ultimately, sales.
Net-A-Porter has launched a new mobile app, called The Netbook, that steps up the retailer's move into social commerce.
The iOS app is based on the ‘Live’ feature that sits on the site's homepage and acts like a carousel ticking through the latest products that customers have purchased.
Until now the product feed was anonymous, so the new app is an attempt to give customers an online identity on Net-A-Porter which then creates an additional social layer to the site and makes the recommendations more powerful.
Once they’ve created a profile users can create a wish list within the app by ‘loving’ different products and also follow other users by ‘admiring’ them.
The Netbook is currently invite-only and the launch was timed to coincide with London Fashion Week so that Net-A-Porter can sign up bloggers, stylists, designers and other members of the fashion glitterati. Everyone else will have to join a waiting list.
26% of consumers access customer reviews and consumer conversations on mobile devices for PCWorld and Currys. This trend is only going to accelerate.
Retailers and Brands must ensure they provide their customers with a seamless mobile experience that includes all their social elements.
They cannot afford to wait. Those who fail to will simply lose customers.
The social media gold rush is well underway and many retailers are still weighing up how best to approach social commerce.
With new tools being launched every month and audiences continue to grow social commerce is a tempting prospect for retailers but what sort of return can brands expect to see on their investment?
In this post, I'll explore the prospects of social retail and how retailers can capitalise on sharing.
The global edition of our Internet Statistics Compendium saw a bumper update this month, collecting some of the most interesting freely accessible data published about all things digital – including social media, mobile and ecommerce.
One area which I think is particularly deserving of our analytical curiosity is multichannel commerce, and PwC’s recent report on the subject is excellent reading at a time when shopping across offline and online internationally is still a relatively mysterious beast.
Against recent years’ difficult economic background, consumer buying behavior has changed dramatically, leading to an increase in customer acquisition costs via “traditional marketing”.
Today’s buying journey is more accurately represented by a walk of multiple paths as opposed to the still used but now outdated “purchase funnel”.
Today’s purchase journey combines in-store visits; research conducted online and via mobile web, search queries, visits to comparison websites, visits to brand and retail websites; and, critically, consulting trusted reference sources such as customer reviews and the opinions of friends and family.
Image sharing social platform Pinterest is currently testing a new look, granting access to a 'select few' users before rolling out changes to in the near future.
So far, so-so. Not a day passes without social sites tinkering with their layout or functionality, but given Pinterest's incredible performance in the realm of ecommerce referrals, this could be an important one.
Let's take a closer look...
Expectations for Facebook commerce, or f-commerce as it's commonly referred to, may have been set too high, and social may not be as big a player this holiday shopping season as some might have hoped, but that doesn't mean that social doesn't have a big role to play in the ecommerce market.
In a new infographic produced as part of its 2012 Social Commerce IQ: Retail report, software vendor 8thBridge takes a look at where retailers are at today with their social efforts, and where they most innovative are going with their social networking initiatives. For retailers looking for a path forward, it focuses in on the best practices those innovators are applying to get the most out of social.
Amazon is getting more social with the launch of Amazon Pages and Posts, the latest evidence that retailers have high hopes that the potential for social commerce can be realized.
But if numbers don't lie, it doesn't appear that the 2012 holiday shopping season will mark a coming out party for social commerce.
Is the future of commerce social? It depends on who you ask, and the answer is likely to be based on where you look.
Despite Facebook's massive audience, for instance, f-commerce has not panned out for many brands. Pinterest, on the other hand, has obvious potential.
One thing is indisputable, however: brands continue to invest in their social presences, and challenges notwithstanding, many are still trying to figure out how to convert social to sales and track the process.