Online retail portals like Storenvy are creating niche place for themselves in Social Selling. Storenvy is a large Online Mall - with over 35000+ stores offering products across several categories and each week over 15,000 items are added to Storenvy.
It is not humanly possible for anyone to identify the best item in this Online mall suiting your taste and that's where the social angle comes in. I.e. each time a product is bought @ Storenvy it gets promoted and is visible to the rest of the shoppers. Anytime a shopper is browsing an item it gets listed in the order of real time popularity. Also the shopper can view the reviews from the previous shoppers of that item. The portal also generates a personalized shopping list on a daily basis based on current trends. Shoppers are not just influenced by other shopper's reviews but also by their shopping list!
Another example is of a Sandwich shop in New York , which allows its online users to build custom sandwiches , once an order is placed the custom sandwich is also included in the Restaurant's Regular Menu. If any of the online customer were to order this custom sandwich then a portion of the sales is also credited to the original customer (who built the custom sandwich) for future purchases. In this model , the retailer is actually co-creating value for both themselves as well as the customer (let us not forget the loyalty angle)
Can this trend be extended to a brick and a mortar store?
How will we do this?
We need to capture the shopper behavior at a store (via cameras) - which items were 'browsed' (viewed) , which items were evaluated ( labels or tags were read), lost sales (empty aisles) and finally the items which were bought (sales at POS)). This is just a snapshot of data which can essentially give the retailer greater insights into consumer shopping behavior. Plus sharing this real time with other shoppers through - Mobile apps, Store Displays (for each aisle) can influence the shopping decisions especially for new products launches.
With advances in Mobility, ubiquity of Social Apps, consumers will be more and more influenced by the social media for their purchases. Social selling is the future of Retail.
Posted on behalf of Thomas Mathen, Associate Manager, Client Services, RCL