Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Forget Branding, What did they get that I want?

So, its just about time for my yearly installment of a branding article for the blog. I could say that its because I haven't learned anything earth-shatteringly new or interesting, but that would be FAR from the truth. Between Social Networking (I'm a Myspace, Facebook, LinkedIn Freak), Social Retailing, and the general awesome-ness of e-commerce, my head is almost exploding with the potential of marketing and internet retailing. So, lets blame my lack of "real posts" on watching re-runs of "the Office" and attempting to be funny.

But I read something today that I had to share...

The Center for Media Research (Motto: Numbers make me happy!) came out with a report on the power of product reviews.

They found that people were 5% more likely to be satisfied with a retailer when there are product reviews. Additionally, the are more likely to shop again at the same site at a later date and recommend it to thier friends.

As far as the specific shopping experience--39% of customers site product reviews as the main reason they purchase one product over another and 42% of first time buyers are influenced by product reviews.

Now, this does pose the question--do you want to be unique? I understand going for the tried and true (One explanation for the ubiquitous Denali Jacket) but if you are only buying what someone else bought will you jump off a bridge when all the cool kids do that, too?

Hopefully, I'm way off, because there is definitely something about website personalization and recommendations for products. Reviews can be the changing force, or at least the nudge you towards what you need before you become completely dependant on Social Retailing.

When trying to pick out a recipe for a dinner party I hosted a few weeks ago, reviews made all the difference. However, I've read a few reviews (never on backcountry!) that, uh, sucked (I'll protect the guilty and not link to them... but you'll know 'em when you see them.)

Personally, I've found review-writing to help me with my general business day. I create new outdoor terms, reccount my own personal history and have played an alternative version of the Super Troopers "meow" game in reviews.

I've read a lot of reviews in my day, and written a fair amount too, and in the wild, empty world of internet shopping, its definitely helpful to have opinions of those who know!

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The complete study and results can be found and downloaded here.

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