Last week was Shop.org's Annual Summit in New York. It was a great show…2,200 attendees vs. 1,500 last year. Many new attendees. eCommerce is booming.
I led a panel at the Web 2.0 Boot Camp the first day of the show where we shared new technologies to help online retailers reach a market who are ignoring advertising and marketing. From Meebo that provides instant messaging within a web site to Dotomi that customizes ads based on their last visit to your site to Allurent that presents product content in an ‘alluring’ way! The one day “boot camp” for Web 2.0 was a showcase of strategies, tactics and technologies to reach the increasingly connected, informed and over-advertised market.
I will go on record to say this Shop.org event was an inflection point for retailers…or perhaps better put, a wake-up-call. Over the past year there have been topics at other shows related to consumer generated content, social media, Web 2.0 and word of mouth. However, at the event last week I think we've reached an apex. This is the largest event of the year for Shop.org. The event started with an entire day focused on Web 2.0, followed by the regular agenda with four of the top speakers Shop.org invited (not including Brett or myself) who talked about word of mouth and how the market is different now.
- Seth Godin (author of Purple Cow, Small is the New Big) – Advertising and spamming don’t work. What’s left? Getting referenced by others by doing something unique.
- Barry Schwartz (author of Paradox of Choice) – There are too many choices. Help customers filter and reduce choice.
- Kelly Mooney (President of Resource Interactive) – Millenials are multi-tasking, short-attention-span, trust-one-another shoppers
- Bryan Eisenberg (author of Waiting for Your Cat to Bark) – Customers are in control. No longer like Dog’s responding to our commands of advertising…they are like finicky cats.
Kelly Mooney had a fantastic presentation featuring video diaries of Millenials who are the new bulge of spending power. In the words of one young shopper, “I’m trained now to ignore ads”. Eyetracking heatmaps confirm this. Interestingly, these young buyers want to ‘fit in’. They won’t buy without looking for justification, whether that be from their friends or from people like them. This is consistent with the Edelman study that found “Trust in someone like me” has tripled in the last 2 years.
I believe the behavior to turn to others for shopping advice is a common theme for all shoppers today. We recently released the results on a joint study with iPerceptions and CompUSA that uncovered 81% of CompUSA visitors believed ratings and reviews were important when they are researching or planning a purchase.
These are exciting times. We (and our clients) are learning, experiencing, evolving, growing and optimize C2C (customer to customer) marketing. And at some level, the new strategies for this new market are not just relevant for retailers, but all B2C, B2B, manufacturers, and service companies.