With the passing on Cyber Monday online retailers are in the home stretch for the holiday season. At this time of year there is always a flurry of news stories and these were a few that caught my eye via Internet Retailer:
Patagonia.com adds social tools to build brand and sales:
Patagonia.com started a blog earlier this year, called The Cleanest Line. The unedited blog is accessible on the site’s home page and provides a forum for discussing the company’s products, outdoor activities and environmental issues. I am not sure what an unedited blog is, but after the success that Roots Canada has had with its blog, it is not surprise that Patagonia has jumped into the field.
Wine.com builds on social shopping with new community site:
Building on its premise that the more consumers know about wine the better, Wine.com has launched a community site designed to generate traffic as wine enthusiasts share information on their personal preferences. “The web is going social, and wine is a social category, so if you’re Wine.com you better have social community features,” says CEO Rich Bergsund.
I almost fell off my seat when I read this additional quote by the Wine.com CEO. “We’ll see how people use the community,” Bergsund says. “We don’t even know yet what the opportunities are. It’s possible we could even offer commissions on community-driven sales.” SO basically he is saying that we have no idea what we are doing with social networking, but we will try a lot of things and hope that something works. Senior management at its finest!
Wal-Mart ads reviews to web site:
The retailer added customer reviews in July, and it now is reporting that 80,000 reviews have been posted to date, with shoppers adding about 1,000 reviews every day. Reviews are lifting conversion on highly rated products and giving customers another reason to visit, the e-retailer says. A one-star review depresses sales, but that’s fine with CEO Raul Vasquez , who says negative reviews that prevent a sale also prevent a bad experience with the Wal-Mart brand and reduce product returns.
Love this quote: Walmart.com is out to be “the most visited, most valued online retail site,” says Vasquez.
I have to give Wal-Mart credit for its social media persistence. The Intenrte is full of stories about Wal-Mart’s missteps in social media, but they appear to be committed to making it work for their brand and they are to be applauded for that.
CircuitCity.com unveils social networking destination:
CircuitCity.com has launched CityCenter Community, a social networking online gathering place for shoppers and sales associates. The community creates a social shopping scene that brings customers together and via interaction with merchant staff recreates one aspect of an in-store experience.
Circuit City wants to empower consumers with innovative approaches to shopping,” says Mark Oldani, vice president and general manager of Circuit City Direct. The company has over the years incorporated other customer-centric features such as customer reviews and discussion forums, the new CityCenter Community adds blogs, personal profiles and photo galleries to the e-commerce site’s growing online community, Oldani adds.
Buying electronics can be intimidating for many consumers. If Circuit City can successfully build an online community with product reviews and forums that embrace the technological challenged, they will have a great opportunity to grab market share away from their rivals like Best Buy.