Go­ing So­cial With Emo­tional Data

So­cial proof is a data driven trend that helps the con­nected con­sumer to make in­formed de­ci­sions based on the buy­ing be­hav­iour of other cus­tomers who have al­ready bought the prod­uct. Brand and re­tail­ers are us­ing emo­tional data, an al­go­rith­mic mix of rati

VM&RD - - Contents - Suren­der Gnanao­livu

The con­nected cus­tomer of to­day makes most of her de­ci­sions lit­er­ally from the palm of her hands. In­ter­est­ingly, ‘brand loy­alty’ fea­tures lower in the pri­or­ity of the new-age shop­per who de­pends more on ‘so­cial proof’ that she seeks and ob­tains at her will.

In psy­chol­ogy terms, So­cial proof is a phe­nom­e­non where peo­ple (read as ‘wor­ried cus­tomers’) con­form to the ac­tions of oth­ers un­der the as­sump­tion that those ac­tions are re­flec­tive of the cor­rect be­hav­ior. It’s a proven fact that a close to 70 per­cent of shop­pers take the help of prod­uct re­views to make in­formed de­ci­sions. Also, prod­uct re­views are per­ceived as more trust wor­thy 12 times over that of prod­uct in­for­ma­tion from the brand.

Guess that im­plies, with due re­spect to brand mar­keters, that folks be­lieve what other folks think and not brands push­ing prod­ucts.

Fun­da­men­tally, there are 5 types of so­cial proofs that cus­tomers are know to be in­flu­enced by from the ad­vent of advertising Celebri­ties, Ex­perts, Cus­tomers, Friends, Cer­ti­fi­ca­tion. Thanks to tech driven so­cial me­dia life­line of the new-age shop­pers, cus­tomers have con­stant ac­cess to so­cial proof­ing from other Cus­tomers and Friends on their so­cial pages.

“We don’t ‘go’ shop­ping any­more. We are al­ways shop­ping. You can’t win from be­ing well known” says lead­ing dig­i­tal agency Ra­zor­fish’s Ja­son Gold­berg. Mere in­vest­ments in mar­ket­ing and celebrity en­dorse­ments can­not make a prod­uct suc­ceed in the hands of the con­nected con­sumer. Con­sumers have easy ac­cess to facts and opin­ions about prod­ucts through sim­ple Google searches on their smart phones when brows­ing in re­tail en­vi­ron­ments.

This has been pop­u­lar with on­line stores, now brick-and-mor­tar stores are also smartly adopt­ing this trend to in­crease con­ver­sions on their prod­ucts. Let’s get some proof­ing from some ini­tia­tives taken by some global brands that have in­te­grated their off­line with their on­line pres­ence in So­cial Me­dia.

Nord­strom Rack, the off-price re­tail di­vi­sion of Nord­strom Inc., uses tags and dig­i­tal screens in-stores to live stream In­sta­gram photo up­dates of prod­ucts re­cently pur­chased by cus­tomers.

Tech­nol­ogy plays a very crit­i­cal role in the en­abling of live an­a­lyt­ics in Face­book and In­sta­gram feeds. This en­ables cus­tomers to get real time so­cial proof data to un­der­stand so­cial trends and pref­er­ences for prod­ucts that they are con­sid­er­ing to buy.

Dutch Fash­ion re­tailer, C&A, took this to the next level by in­te­grat­ing live dig­i­tal stream­ing data from their so­cial me­dia into their gar­ment hang­ers in-store. This en­abled cus­tomer to browse through so­cial proofs to make in­formed de­ci­sions to buy what is in vogue among their peers by look­ing at the Face­book likes that it dis­played.

Tar­get po­si­tioned as an up­scale dis­count re­tailer that pro­vides high-qual­ity, on-trend mer­chan­dise at at­trac­tive prices, has also started us­ing so­cial proof­ing to pro­mote the pop­u­lar­ity of its prod­ucts and in­flu­ence an in­crease in its con­ver­sions in-store. The store en­cour­ages cus­tomers to tweet their rat­ing for some of their key col­lec­tions which is then con­sol­i­dated and com­mu­ni­cated at the point of sale of the prod­uct

Ama­zon.com, in its phys­i­cal book­store con­cept that it un­veiled in the US, has a col­lec­tion of about 5,000 ti­tles stocked on its book­shelves. In­ter­est­ingly the books are dis­played in a cover-out for­mat in­stead

of spine-out with the idea of show­cas­ing the au­thors and their work and their so­cial rat­ing up­front. The shelves dis­play pos­i­tive re­views and star-rat­ings from the Ama­zon. com web­site which help book lovers ac­cess the col­lec­tion and make in­formed de­ci­sions.

With tech­nol­ogy en­abled so­cial proof­ing get­ting more pop­u­lar this will soon be­come the new normal for con­vert­ing a large ma­jor­ity of browsers to shop­pers at the last mile in the store for all prod­ucts ir­re­spec­tive of the brand. A day will come, sooner than we think, when Shop­pers will need so­cial proof for ev­ery prod­uct they buy. No won­der mar­ket­ing spends and ef­forts are rapidly tilt­ing to­wards so­cial me­dia en­gage­ment which will sig­nif­i­cantly im­pact brand pref­er­ence and rev­enues on both on­line and phys­i­cal re­tail.

Store de­sign­ers and vis­ual mer­chan­dis­ing pro­fes­sion­als of to­day have em­braced the use of the con­cept of emo­tional data in re­tail de­sign to en­deav­our to con­trib­ute in the de­liv­ery of cus­tomer ac­qui­si­tion and con­ver­sion with much more pre­ci­sion than ever be­fore.

Sources: https://gi­gaom.com | https://econ­sul­tancy.com | http://www.ecouterre.com | www.thes­tar.com | https:/ newre­pub­lic.com

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