According to eMarketer, peer recommendations are the single most trusted source of product information. Think about it: How likely are you to just blindly buy something nowadays? Personally, I rarely make a purchase without first scouring the Internet for user reviews or product-specific blog posts.
With customer-created content exerting so much influence over buyers purchasing decisions, what can businesses do to ensure that consumers have access to the right information at the right time in order to drive sales?
The answer is simple: You can integrate your organizations Web site or e-commerce store with useful content generated by its loyal customer community.
Opportunities abound with customer community collaboration
By delivering helpful content optimized for commerce from product reviews and how-to articles to blogs and frequently asked questions your organization can:
- Attract and retain customers
- Drive sales and increase revenue
- Create loyal customer advocates
- Lower cost of operation and time to value
- Reduce shopping cart abandonment
As you can see, creating a more coherent link between the content related to your product and the product itself can potentially do wonders for your business.
A firsthand look at community commerce
Now, what exactly does this integrated e-commerce site look like?
Imagine youre a retailer that sells clothing. A prospective customer spots a shirt she likes on your e-commerce store. Although shes interested in making the purchase, shes got a few questions about the product.
She wonders if the sizes run big or small. She wonders if the color is as vibrant as it looks in the photo. She wonders if the material tears easily. Fortunately, a user review on the Web site provides all of this information.
From the same site, the interested buyer can view a photo-heavy blog post with outfit ideas featuring the shirt she desires. The post even includes links to where she can purchase the complementary items.
This increased access to product insight, along with helpful community engagement, results in a sale for your retailer, an exceptional buying experience for your customer, and, potentially, an enthusiastic new advocate for your brand.
Inform, convince, and convert
The ultimate goal of e-commerce is to convince users to make a purchase without leaving your Web site. In other words, you dont want a prospective buyer to read about your product, leave your store to further research it, and potentially forget to return to your site to complete the transaction.
You want to create a one-stop online environment where you can educate your consumers as much as possible, seamlessly weaving useful customer-generated content into your e-commerce store.
With the latest technology and help from your loyal customer community, this is now more possible than ever before.
Interested in learning more about community-powered commerce? Visit the SAP Jam Communities Web site.