Social influence: the next step for ecommerce?

It comes as no surprise that social influence impacts upon sales both online and offline. Ecommerce success, especially in the business consumer area, is determined in part whether the consumer trusts a seller and product they can’t see or touch.

Retailers understand this importance, which has been outlined within the recent IT in Retail 2013 report. The report analysed the IT strategies of 150 top UK retailers, which represents sales of £203bn and 70% of the UK market.

It’s now been the second consecutive year where ecommerce has taken over spending on store systems. From the report it became apparent that ecommerce has now become their number one priority.

Q&A: PeerIndex CEO Azeem Azhar

Social influence company PeerIndex this week closed a $3m Series A round of funding from a group of high profile angel and private equity investors.

Led by Antrak Capital, this includes former Thomson Reuters CEO Tom Glocer, Stephen Klein of Activebuddy fame (which went on to be acquired by Microsoft) and angel investor Sherry Costu.

With this money in the bank, and brands including Atlantic Records, Penguin Books and The O2 all lining up to use its scoring system for marketing purposes, the British contender to Klout is finding a niche for itself.

Whereas Klout is striving to be the ‘standard for influence’, targeting consumers’ egos for the most part, PeerIndex is positioning itself as a leader in ‘influence marketing’. We sat down with CEO Azeem Azhar to talk about developments in this space.

Klout moves into mobile with Blockboard acquisition

Social influence measurement company Klout is moving into the mobile space, acquiring Blockboard for an unknown sum.

Blockboard says that it “uses technology to connect neighbours and build stronger neighbourhoods”. Its mobile app features a bulletin board that users can use to post messages for their local community to view and interact with.

Net Promoter launches social measurement, but will it be valuable?

Net Promoter is to add social media measurement to its existing customer loyalty metrics, launching a new product called SparkScore that takes mentions of a brand on Facebook, Twitter and other channels into consideration.

Parent company Satmetrix confirmed last night that SparkScore will assign a numerical value to a brand using a similar methodology to Net Promoter.

The trouble with measuring influence via social media

Measuring influenceYesterday we wrote about a new app called The Social List, which has been launched by The Sunday Times and is boxing in a similar area as Klout and PeerIndex.

Here’s how it is being positioned: “The Sunday Times Social List is set to become the definitive measure of the most influential people within the social space.”

Tricky. The trouble with measuring ‘influence’ is that it is incredibly difficult to do so in an automated way. I think it’s virtually impossible to make any real statements about who is and isn’t influential without some form of human analysis. 

These tools are of course works in progress, and as they stand they are certainly indicators of something, but I’m not sure they’re indicators of true influence.

The Sunday Times launches “The Social List”

sunday-times-rich-listWith services like Klout and PeerIndex continuing to attract investment
and users, there’s some serious money and traffic to be had from social
media measurement, which explains why a corporation like News
International would be interested in acquiring a slice of the pie chart.

This week the NI-owned Sunday Times launched its own ‘Social list’, and based on initial use it could be set to attract a wider audience.