Monday, August 25, 2008

Get customers to interact

Repeat visits to a site are a hard thing to get - which is why there was so much hype about social networking online. It is a way to get people to interact with one another, and for them to have a reason to come back later.

How do we apply this to an online shopping site? Amazon has always been the leader - with ratings and relevant customer reviews, but you must not forget - each new interaction feature brings with it the overhead of impartial moderation. It can't be a free for all - because negativity could reflect badly on your site or competitors could take advantage, but it also can't be a police state where nothing but the most glowing reports get published (unless you want to come off looking like the great firewall of China). A set of rules accompanying user interaction like this is often a good idea - it's one of the best moderated forums I've used in a long time.

A great idea I saw today - allow users to post pictures or videos of them using products bought off your site. It gives that personal touch to visitors of the site, and triggers emotions in potential buyers to think - I could do that too, only better!

Many aspects of social networking not only can be applied to a shopping experience - but they should be mandatory requirements of a modern shopping system.


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