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Community Building and User Generated Content Forum

    
Social Shopping and Customer 3.0
Social Media and Communities Drive Buying
rogerd




msg:3668349
 11:58 am on Jun 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

What if the current retail recession is about more than the overall slowdown of the global economy?

Now, customers dictate how they will purchase and consume -- where, when, and how much -- using a variety of channels largely, if not exclusively, configured by them: They are using community-based online tools (social networking, social book-marking, and social shopping) to guide one another, which has made dot-com darlings like Amazon.com look almost quaint compared with media-meets-commerce-meets-community start-ups like Glam.com.

They are populating social networks, composed of the people they trust, and their networks -- their social ties -- are rapidly becoming key distribution channels for retailers' marketing and promotion. They populate the online world with ratings and reviews, videos of what they've bought or consumed, and comments on corporate reputations and consumer brands, making Shopzilla or Pricegrabber more valuable than Consumer Reports or JD Power.

From MarketWatch: Meet customers 3.0 [marketwatch.com]

 

AjiNIMC




msg:3668383
 12:56 pm on Jun 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

They populate the online world with ratings and reviews

Yeah, very true. As the time is passing I can hardly see a product which doesn't have a review community. From Amazon to local in house forums, everything is guiding people.

Recently while talking to a friend of mine about movies, he said he hardly watches one without seeing their reviews.

I can soon see social media manipulation happening like seo, it is going to a big industry in its own.

The best feature I like is "related shopping". If I read this book, I might want to read that book as well. I am big fan or recommendations.

IanTurner




msg:3668411
 1:22 pm on Jun 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

You mean there are still people out there, who actually believe the reviews on the review sites?

I thought everyone had been into 'social media manipulation' for years.

rogerd




msg:3668504
 2:44 pm on Jun 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

Volume is a key factor, IMO. One rave review is suspect, as is a single report of vermin in a hotel. Netflix movie ratings, by comparison, come from so many subscribers that manipulation would be impossible. Even big companies like Amazon have products with few reviews and that are ripe for manipulation.

Certainly, the motivation to manipulate ratings and generate phony reviews is much greater today than a few years ago. Just yesterday, I was on a specialty ecom site looking at a product that had about 10 reviews, all very positive. Rather than pulling out my credit card, I began to wonder about the authenticity of the reviews. Did the site generate some or all of these themselves? Did they delete the ones which said the product didn't work? Oddly, I was more dubious about the product after reading all of those great comments.

AjiNIMC




msg:3668544
 3:14 pm on Jun 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

You mean there are still people out there, who actually believe the reviews on the review sites?

I do, its actually very strange, I have a trust rank factor (like one that is available with google :) ). I trust some of the people randomly because it seems that they are genuine. I try their recommendations. If the product and the review matches I believe them even more. Then I start believing people who are inline with the people whom I trusted :), all happens in your mind. Specially while using torrents it has worked really good.

AjiNIMC




msg:3668552
 3:20 pm on Jun 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

ecom site looking at a product that had about 10 reviews, all very positive.

Testimonials/reviews on the site about the same site is a little difficult to believe in. Even if 990 out of 1000 in unhappy you will see the rest 10 on the website.

I have worked really hard to make testimonials credible by putting their pic, their videos and more imp a link to their blog/website. It is very rare that a good blogger will put a fake review.

Did they delete the ones which said the product didn't work?

Many do and the strangest of all is when then come after you as you have an open forum containing some negative things about them. Many people have threaten us and asked us to remove negative comments as it had ranking #2 or #1 for their name query in Google.

HelenDev




msg:3668584
 3:43 pm on Jun 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

Speaking as someone who is partly in marketing it is true that social media 'dabbling' is definitely part of a marketing strategy these days.

I think there is a big difference though between writing bogus rave reviews about one's own product or service and simply giving your product a bit of extra exposure.

People are pretty good at spotting a load of obviously fake reviews and I think a balanced selection does your company more credit in the long run.

rogerd




msg:3668585
 3:44 pm on Jun 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

>>I have worked really hard to make testimonials credible by putting their pic, their videos and more imp a link to their blog/website.

That's a great approach, AjiNIMC. Not only does that raise the bar for would-be manipulators, but it helps ensure that real reviewers put some thought into what they say (since it will be identified with them).

Murdoch




msg:3668632
 4:46 pm on Jun 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

You mean there are still people out there, who actually believe the reviews on the review sites?

I'm probably in the minority here, but I like to look up reviews on things that I already own and like, and then I look at the other things those people have reviewed, and many times i end up buying those things if the reviewer likes them.

Speaking as someone who is partly in marketing it is true that social media 'dabbling' is definitely part of a marketing strategy these days.

I can second that. When it was my job to write "genuine" reviews for companies that I worked for on third party sites, I would create two accounts, then write one glowing review, and a second critical review, but I would make sure the second review was riddled with spelling errors, bad grammar, and ridiculous criticisms.

Seems that people won't believe a product with only good reviews, but they'll believe a product is good if there's a bad review written by an idiot.

Go figure.

Miamacs




msg:3669175
 11:38 am on Jun 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

I look up reviews too...

well, no, actually I look up forums discussing products and services. read the specs, determine what could go wrong, and do a few searches as if I already had bought the stuff, and it DID go wrong.

then, as an SEO/SEM I might be able to tell what is fake and what's genuine user generated opinion ( along with possible fixes, if there are any! ) but...

...

no idea about the average user.

I'd think that people who're not used to WebSpamTalk with keyword stuffing and broken English would be *more* wary than us who've had to deal with all this for around a decade.

...

it's all about finding a trustworthy resource. like you'd go to either site of cnet and not amazon, a tech support forum and not a hosting comparison website which are... in effect just huge ads for various services.

if you already have an idea as for what could be a problem with the product/service, you can get information that's useful to you in a matter of minutes, let it be a movie, a book, hardware or a travel destination. if you don't know those potential weak points... well, then you probably don't even need that thing you're about to spend money on... *grin*

...

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