Social commerce gaining ground among online retailers
Online retailers are increasingly tapping into user-generated content (UGC) as a way of increasing sales and improving customer satisfaction, according to research published Wednesday by E-consultancy and Bazaarvoice, MarketingCharts reports.
Some of the findings of "Social Commerce Report 2007":
More than half of all online sellers (51 percent) consider UGC as either extremely important or very important to company strategy over the next year.
Site content improvement is a key area of digital marketing investment for online sellers, with 76 percent saying it is a high priority.
Customer ratings and reviews are being used by 28 percent of online sellers, with more than half (52 percent) saying that they were considering the use of this feature on their websites.
The most widely perceived benefit of ratings and reviews among online sellers is an improvement in site conversion rates, viewed as a major benefit by 79 percent of responding organizations.
Improved customer retention and loyalty, and better search engine optimization, are also viewed as a major benefit, by 73 percent and 59 percent of online sellers, respectively.
The overwhelming majority of survey respondents (97 percent) said that they found ratings and reviews either extremely helpful or very helpful "as consumers."
The research also found that the environment for online sellers over the last 12 months has been a very positive one, with half of online sellers (50 percent) saying they expect growth of 20 percent or more in the next year.
Linus Gregoriadis, E-consultancy's Head of Research, said: "The research shows that it's a very healthy environment for e-commerce but increased competition in the marketplace means that companies need to work harder to maintain strong growth.
"Tapping into social commerce can be a great way of gaining a competitive advantage, for example through ratings and reviews. But apart from the early adopters, this is something a large proportion of online retailers are only just starting to think seriously about."
Source: Marketing VOX