Monthly Archives: October 2010

Social buying or social shopping?

We’re a long way away from a great shopping experience using social media.  Web 2.0 brought us social buying – a transactional event, but we’re still a long way from true social shopping.  I’ve been mulling this over and I’ve been looking around some of the social commerce sites mentioned at the event I went to in Palo Alto the other week.  There are sites that have lots of innovation around social buying.

ModCloth is an example of one such innovation around socially involving the purchaser at a really early stage of the design process.  They have a Be The Buyer program in which customers actually choose which designs get created.  image

When the design is finished you can be notified when the finished article will be on sale.  You can also continue to vote on other proposed design ideas.  This shows great innovation involving the customer and empowers the customer to make significant design decisions.  Starbucks have a similar way of involving the customer and innovating in their stores.  My Starbucks idea lets you submit an idea to Starbucks for them to decide to implement.  Even if they don’t implement your idea, you still feel valued as a customer as they get back to you and tell you why they haven’t chosen it.  Even a negative response shows that they have listened and have responded.

This sharing of ideas adds to the shopping experience.  Social shopping enhances the shopping experience and really involves the community, driving value to the shopper.  

Kiddicare in the UK has another way of fully involving the social shopper…


Kiddicare lets you tag products with your own definition. For example you can search for waterproof, absorbent, dry and leak proof nappies, or diapers.  These tags have been created by the community – not the store – and they help customers find the products that they have categorised.  This adds to the company knowledge base, searches for products are more intuitive than just trying to remember the brand name in the first place.

I think that we’re at an inflection point with social shopping, with a few pioneers showing how to really involve the customer and improve the community shopping experience.  These social strategies from the pioneers in social commerce are able to connect customers to the buying experience and will create a momentum as more and more commerce sites find innovative ways to connect with their customers. It’s difficult to rise above the sea of sameness and create something that really stands out in the market, but improving the shopping experience for the customer, connecting the customer to the experience is the way that this is going to bring bold results. Involving the consumer in their shopping experience will ultimately drive value for the brand to refine their selling experience and give the customer what they actually want.

Food for thought, certainly

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Predicting the Stock Market–on Twitter

Now I know why I spend so much time on Twitter.  Researchers at MIT published this graph in their Technology Review which has an accuracy of 87.6% in predicting whether the Dow Jones Industrial Average will go up or down.

GPOMS = Google-Profile of Mood algorithm which records the level of happiness, kindness, alertness, sureness, vitality and calmness.  The researchers looked for correlations between the GPOMS and the Dow Jones average and found that the calmness indicator index is correlated to the rise and fall and they can predict this change up to 6 days in advance.

Amazing stats for an Economist, but it might just blow your mind if you’re a mere mortal who uses Twitter for fun and information.

Full story in Technology Review

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2010 Gartner cycle: Hype or Reality?

It’s interesting to see the hype cycle for 2010 from Gartner and their perception of the industry in 2010.  It’s interesting that blogging has disappeared, Microblogging is well on the way to becoming ubiquitous and the private cloud will be the Next Big Thing…

Thinking about the Rise of Social Commerce conference I attended to the other week, I think that Augmented Reality will come to the fore much quicker than Gartner predict – especially with the anticipated social shopping platforms that will be built in the next couple of years by , innovative partners, more and more social analytics tools will emerge, with more in depth and more holistic views of the conversation relevance and sentiment. I also think that Video search will be available within the next couple of years.

It’s interesting to see the differences between this Hype Cycle and the 2009 graph  So much has moved on, and changed.  So what do you think?  Is this graph more accurate than the 2009 graph?  or have Gartner imagining life as the IT world would with it to be?

Will be interesting to see how these play out…

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