Positive consumer experience is important for social commerce and because of the blurred lines across channels the consumer experience and their travels through the social commerce marketplace are easy to trace and monitor. This may be a little new and uncertain for many of the larger multi-channel retailers because they are more focused on their main channel, which is the retail store. Consumers though view the entire experience without differentiating between channels; they expect the experience to be maintained across all channels and expect to that end the consumer is able to put together this cohesive experience and same level of information across channels through third party tools. The large multi-channel retailers need to tap into these third party tools to gain additional consumer experience feedback to incorporate the feedback and improve the experience across channels.
There are a lot of social tools consumers use to comment and and share experiences including ratings of experience including products and customer experience, such as Yelp or Retail-Me-Not on the mobile platform. These tools allow immediate reactional response to both good experiences and bad experiences and in addition provide a much greater audience for these comments and thereby a much greater impact to negative reactions. This is a very powerful tool and the multi-channel retailers must step up to continuously monitor these outlets for reactions so they can be addressed quickly.
I have found recently that Google is stepping up these capabilities through the Google mobile app that incorporates location and surrounding information to provide recommendations and ratings based on where I am. In addition the same app tracks my travels where-ever I go and then will request additional information regarding businesses along my travels. This is not new and many apps do this same type of tracking and requesting reviews. The difference of the Google app is that it incorporates the responses and photos of all reactions into the navigation and mapping apps to provide a rich level of information for consumers based on their current location and destination.
This outlet must be monitored for immediate reaction and to address issues as they are reported and the good news is that store personnel can monitor and react in the same way that customers monitor and react. This is always changing and must be closely monitored to ensure the positive consumer experience across channels. This information can then be used combined with consumer surveys to improve the overall experience. This is a bit of a ‘good news / bad news’ situation where the good news is that retailers have a fantastic amount of information available for analysis, and the bad news is these retailers have a fantastic amount of data that they must analyze.
And now for the audience participation portion of the show…
ECommerce will have wide ranging impacts on both the retail and manufacturing sectors. How can you focus these abilities to improve the consumer's experience? Improving the consumer’s experience will require a re-evaluation of the sales channels, the manufacturing channels and practices and the supply chain channels and practices from the raw materials to the consumers’ homes. In order to ensure and maintain success in this new reality you must harness the tools and capabilities in many new areas. How can you support these continuously changing requirements?