Oct 11, 2009

Why Would You Want to be Part of a Retail Community?

Why the devil would you when hundreds of traditional E-commerce sites compete with ideas, discounts, and creativity?

This is the question that Ripple6, a social media platform for e-commerce, asked in a survey of almost 1006 American consumers by the E-tailing group.  This survey was already alluded to in a previous post about using news feeds for business purposes.


It is interesting to point out that the first two results validated each one by about 50% of consumers, both forming two different, but, at the same time, perfectly compatible and complimentary poles.
  • Those that want to benefit from the knowledge and experience of others, those that are interested by the “wisdom of the crowd”
  • Those that want to pass on their knowledge and their experience, the “wiki motivation”.

The equal importance of these two groups is astounding.  There are numerous contributors to Wikipedia, where as the number of the users of the encyclopedia is far above .  The ratio of potential participants to visitors in social commerce groups is 1 to 1.

Other motivations, such as saving time or brand affinity, respectively more “selfish”, and less “implicative”, gather significant but much more inferior votes.

Brand affinity, a constant on Facebook fan pages, is another aspect that is taken from social marketing rather than social commerce.  It also means less consumer independence with the brand.  So, the Iphone fan has a less critical eye than the Iphone user who lets the consumer benefit from his/her experience.  His/her social value is less.  It is of course possible to be both fan and critic at the same time (as with me).  

Finally, let’s point out that the Ripple6 survey did not consider the “discount group’s” possible motivations for achievement that, nonetheless, in its own way, summarized individual motivation and collective interest.

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