by Christine Tran
On Thursday, we wrapped up our Rise of Social Commerce event, which culminated many months of planning and hard work at Altimeter Group, and an exciting year of developments in social commerce.
Here are my favorite take-aways from Day 2 of our event:
- Pete Blackshaw of Nielsen Online kicked off the day with an outstanding presentation on the future of mobility (video clip here). He reminded us that social commerce is “all about the boring basics,” or building customer loyalty and referrals but using the social web to take it to the next level. What I found most interesting about his presentation was a slide on customer channel preferences – for example, customers use email to complain 97% of the time, or post to the company’s Facebook page when making recommendations 47% of the time. Pete also suggested that companies examine their “viral drivers.” In retail, customers talk about staff attitude and knowledge. In banking, banking and payment are important. In electronics, its customer support. Ask yourself what are the top drivers of conversation in your industry, and reverse engineer that. Essentially, develop your social strategy program based on data, not “hunches.”
- Camille Lauer of Hallmark offered attendees a refreshing look at the nuts and bolts of their program, and the experimentation necessary to advance the social commerce frontier (video clip here). Hallmark’s social marketing and commerce efforts include: 1) A card creation contest program which has received more than 28,000 submissions over 16 contests. Four staff judge submissions and get winning cards into appropriate model lines. 2) Their social calendar on Facebook has over 1.3 million monthly active users. 3) A Facebook store tab (available soon, though I blogged about it here.) which gives fans the ability to purchase personalized cards. Customers choose a card, add a personalized message – Hallmark takes care of the rest, including postage.
- Susan Etlinger posed an interesting question to our retail panel (see video clip here), which was comprised of traditional retailers Wet Seal and Sephora, and start up sites Kaboodle and ModCloth: Can large, traditional retailers sustain the engagement required to build and nurture online communities? To which, Bridget Dolan of Sephora had a great answer: It’s not unsustainable, it’s inevitable – customer interaction is the new marketing. I also liked how Bridget referred to the in-store experience as a “big CandyLand,” and her suggestion that the mobile web provides an opportunity to direct targeted messages to customers in the store. This convergence of the online and in-store experience – through the mobile web – will be the bridge between “clicks and bricks.”
- To close, Partners Marcia Conner and Charlene Li led sessions on preparing the organization for social commerce (see video clip here). Companies are eager to jump into the social web, for marketing, for PR, for support, for commerce. Yet many need to first align internal processes, policies, roles, and systems; and ensure internal stakeholders have the appropriate mindset through leadership and ongoing guidance. In particular, Charlene talked about creating and applying a “sandbox covenant”: leadership must determine the size of the “sandbox,” and then define the walls of that sandbox with employees, customers, and partners.
Finally, let me leave you with a few choice “last words” – advice from individuals who are pioneering social commerce:
- Bridget Dolan, Sephora: Think about how to connect all your digital and social touch points to create a holistic experience for the customer.
- Shari Gunn, Kaboodle: Do a lot of testing. Test different opportunities, and different platforms.
- Adil Wali, ModCloth: Humanize your brand. Our growth is directly tied to both HR and Marketing – our employees are the voice of the brand.
- Jon Kubo, Wet Seal: Ask yourself if your efforts are just another social marketing campaign, or if it’s a sustainable activity, interaction, feature, etc. that will transform the customer experience.
There were many more great speakers and sessions which I haven’t recapped here, so be sure to check back on our site later for more presentations and videos.
Below, I’ll continue to update this list of links related to the event. If you blog about Rise of Social Commerce, be sure to add a comment.
- Paul Marsden of Social Commerce Today has a nice wrap-up, plus screenshots and videos.
- Joe McKendrick summarizes our Social Commerce framework.
- Heidi Forbes Öste writes up a summary on her blog: Reflections on Rise of Social Commerce.
- Gigya weighs in with their conference wrap-up: The Future of Social Shopping.
- Connie Benson has a Day 1 recap on Engaging Times: Social Commerce – Are you ready?
- Eileen Brown posted her thoughts on her blog at Rise of Social Commerce conference.
- Our sponsor Alvenda posted the video from CEO Wade Gerten’s session.
- Partner Jeremiah Owyang posted lovely photos from the event.
- Ted Rubin shares: My takeaways from Altimeter’s “Rise of Social Commerce” Conference 10/6-7
- Todd Chandler reviews 9 helpful resources learned at Rise of Social Commerence
- Matt Cheuvront summarizes his learnings: Think Big. Start Small. Grow Fast.
- Connie Benson has a wrap up of day 1 on her post Social Commerce – Are You Ready?
- Check out the videos that ExpoTV produced for the conference: Rise of Social Commerce Videos by EXPO
- Partner Marcia Conner published advice for companies on Fast Company: Rewiring for Social Commerce
- Practical eCommerce posted a write up before the event: Rise of Social Commerce Conference Kicks Off Today