Navigating the Social Commerce Landscape, Part 2
Bob Thompson, CEO of CustomerThink.com, coined the phrase “touchpoint amnesia” to signify the problem of customers having to repeat themselves as they move from one touchpoint to the next. Thompson’s research revealed that these experiences left customers 50 percent less likely to recommend a company with which they had undergone "touchpoint amnesia." Moreover, their purchase rates were 24 percent to 35 percent lower.
3 Ways to Seamlessly Integrate Multiple Touchpoints and Selling Channels
- Avoid “touchpoint amnesia.” Ensure all selling channels save customer data, then integrate it seamlessly into every channel that customers would potentially interact with.
- Own the end-to-end experience, or appoint someone who can (e.g., chief experience officer). Before you implement new processes, appoint one person to own the entire experience so that they can identify persistent challenges and critical areas needing improvement.
- Tie cross-channel metrics to rewards/incentives/compensation in order to harmonize the cross-channel experience and avoid individually optimized departmental silos.
5 Retail Trends to Be Aware Of
Based on the findings of PowerReviews’ 2010 Social Shopping Study, the following are five trends that are critical for retailers to focus on as they attempt to bridge online and offline customer experiences in order to integrate multiple touchpoints and selling channels:
- Control rests with consumers. Fifty percent of all purchases — in-store and online — involve researching products online first.
- Research starts with search but ultimately happens on retailers’ sites. Social media isn't top of mind for search. While the majority of consumers (57 percent) begin research with a search engine, research primarily occurs on retailers’ sites (e.g., Amazon.com).
- Consumers expect social tools for their research experience, but still engage mostly with the basics. While consumers have come to expect social tools, the basics continue to have the greatest impact on buying behavior — namely customer reviews, Q&As and community forums.
- Consumers seek a variety of voices throughout the research experience to feel confident when making a buying decision. Friends and like-minded consumers have become more influential than experts. The top three online voices that have the biggest influence on purchase decisions are friends, “people like me” and experts.
- Facebook is emerging as the social platform for researching/shopping. After the basic social tools (e.g., customer reviews, Q&A), Facebook features (e.g., wall, fan pages) were ranked to have the biggest impact on purchase decisions.
Pehr Luedtke is CEO of PowerReviews, a provider of social commerce solutions, including customer reviews, to retailers.