Trendwatching’s December 2009 Trend Briefing covered the “10 Crucial Consumer Trends for 2010.” The entire report is worth the read, but we gave special attention to trend number three: real-time reviews.
With authentic, real-time, 24/7 customer opinions available to anyone and everyone via the internet, shoppers in 2010 will know exactly what others think of your brand at any point in time.
- Our inherent need for instant gratification – Trendwatching calls it “NOWism” – leads consumers to share, in real-time, everything they’re doing, buying, and experiencing.
- Universal online access through netbooks, laptops, and mobile allows consumers to broadcast these experiences immediately.
- The sheer mass of available online opinions makes this content real-time, as at any moment someone somewhere is sharing their authentic opinion on a topic or brand via the internet.
- Social media encourages the immediacy of this content, and search engines are shifting toward a similar model.
- These platforms make it increasingly easier for consumers to group the flood of real-time UGC into useable streams, to discover what’s being said about topics or brands right now.
So what’s a brand to do?
Feed the NOW
Give your customers what they’re hungry for: encourage real-time review of your products, services and brand by making UGC contribution and consumption as easy as possible.
- Make your content available everywhere potential customers may be researching your product. The reviews you gather on your e-commerce site are the most informative and helpful. Make these reviews available on mobile sites. Manufacturers, push this content to retailer sites.
- Push customer opinions into the conversational space of social media. Brands like Walmart and Best Buy are doing this very well, encouraging discussion of their products on Facebook and Twitter.
- Draw customers back into the purchase path through these conversations. Tools like Social Network Accelerators let your contributors push their opinions out of your e-commerce site and into their own networks, linking back to product pages to draw in new customers and contributors.
Your customers will be talking about your brand in real-time in 2010. Brands who act now to use this coming trend to their advantage will be the e-commerce leaders of the new year.