The meaning of “social commerce” — a popular buzz phrase recently — is causing the retail industry to reconsider how socially-driven technologies are changing the way people shop. Shoppers are increasingly seeking ways to interact with friends while shopping on their platform or channel of choice, and retailers are challenged to keep up with the near-constant evolution of social technologies.
The value of social commerce is undisputed, but the need for education around related technologies is growing. A January 2011 survey conducted by Retail Systems Research (RSR) found that 98% of retailers view investing in social commerce as valuable, but an increasing number are “stymied” by their existing technologies.
Gigya is attempting to address these issues with the introduction of a suite of social plug-ins designed to integrate with social networks and e-Commerce platforms. Integrating customer reactions, ratings & reviews, sharing, social recommendations and social sign-on, Gigya’s Social Recommendation plug-in offers customers new ways to share products and opinions with their network of friends and the site community, and to see what their personal friends are doing — rating, reviewing, sharing, asking or buying — on a web site.
Just as providing the right information at the right moment can increase purchase conversion, prompting the right customers to share at key moments can increase sharing conversion by as much as 400%, according to Gigya.
“Retailers recognize that social is not just a new channel, social is also a new way of doing business,” said Patrick Salyer, CEO, Gigya. “Our retail customers, from Barneys New York to Moxsie.com, are looking to drive measurable impact via social. Our data shows as much as a 50% increase in user participation, including the content that contributes to SEO, when people are able to contribute using an existing social identity.”
Gigya’s social commerce plug-ins are live with retailers including Giantnerd and CruiseNow, and will soon be implemented by Barneys New York.
The Giantnerd social shopping community has rolled out the Reactions plug-in, asking customers to let other shoppers know how they feel about an item.
The plug-ins are available to retailers on any platform, but Gigya has made integration available specifically for the ATG, Demandware and Magento e-Commerce platforms. Gigya delivers unified reporting on customer activity across a variety of points of social engagement.
Gigya Recommendations Plugins include a “Reactions” feature, pre-designed or customizable buttons that offer shoppers the opportunity to express and share their opinions of products. The percent of shoppers who have clicked each reaction are displayed similar to a real-time poll.
The Recommendation Feed pulls user activity from ratings, reviews, reactions and other relevant user actions (from Gigya plug-ins or third-party or vendor-supported site features) and displays them in a real-time feed on any page. Shoppers can view activity for their friends, the entire community, or even themselves. Retailers can filter displayed data by product category or any other desired dimension.
Gigya’s technology is designed to identify top site advocates in real-time so retailers can reward the strongest brand and product advocates. The action-based Share Plugin helps retailers to prompt their biggest advocates to share at the right moments — after leaving a positive product rating or review, or after purchasing a product.