Visit audio equipment retailer Unique Squared and look for a box on the home page entitled “Why people are buying.” You’ll see responses from customers such as:
“Awesome quality and low price. Heard great things about the TMA-1″
“excellent sound quality and good price”
“positive reviews, solid feature set”
Click “See all” and you will find customer comments rendered in a pinboard-style style interface that provides larger product images.
Both of these elements are powered by a new feature from social commerce platform provider TurnTo called “Checkout Chatter.” When customers check out, they are asked to tell why they chose the product they purchased. Those comments are then displayed in an unfiltered manner directly on the home page of the website.
According to TurnTo CEO George Eberstadt, Checkout Chatter is designed to “generate lots of positive-sentiment user-generated comments and makes it visible throughout an online storefront for social discovery and social validation.”
Let’s examine those two terms as they relate to Checkout Chatter.
Retail has entered a new phase wherein product discovery and purchase decisions are informed by the collective and distributed social intelligence of others. In that sense, Checkout Chatter is an engine that drives social discovery through the serendipity of opinions dispensed by people who share similar interests – in this case audio products.
Checkout Chatter is also a technological interpretation of the Latin proverb, “A wise man learns from the experience of others, a fool by his own.” It’s built on on the age old premise that, if you want to sell, show someone that other people are buying from you.
In our book, The Social Commerce Handbook, Paul Marsden and I suggest that if people don’t know what to do, they’ll assume others around them do and will take their cue from them. It socially validates an option. Social validation is one of the secrets to unlocking sales with social media – get what you sell socially validated by the purchases, endorsements, and behavior of others.
From an commerce perspective, customer reviews play a vital role. Digital marketing resource site Econsultancy reports that 61 percent of customers read online reviews before making a purchase decision, which makes them essential for e-commerce sites. Add in the impact provided by social discovery and social validation and you wonder why every site does not have some form of customer opinion integration.
Suffice it to say, Checkout Chatter affords Unique Squared the opportunity to turn its e-commerce site into a platform that helps people shop smarter by learning from each other. That’s social commerce squared!