Britain has earned itself a reputation as a country of passionate e-shoppers and its retailers have applied themselves diligently to the task of providing a seamless, enjoyable online shopping experience.
They are devoting considerable resources to developing and executing effective multi-channel strategies but seem to be forgetting that this is the age of the socially plugged-in consumer whose fingers are itching to share impressions and post recommendations.
This oversight is costing UK retailers £9bn in additional revenues from online sales, according to an article in Retail Gazette that cites a study by nToklo, a London-based provider of personalised content recommendations and social integration tools for e-commerce.
So how exactly are retailers missing out on the opportunity to add such a hefty sum to their sales tally? By neglecting the power of social commerce, says nToklo. They are either depriving customers of the opportunity to post recommendations on brand websites or failing to direct buyers towards social networks where they can find or share recommendations.
As nToklo’s co-founder and product director Anton Gething points out, the social media phenomenon has stripped brands of their exclusive privilege to provide recommendation content and consumers are increasingly favouring comments and reviews posted by their peers on social media.
nToklo’s study covered the 101 biggest UK retailers by sales and established that half of them do not have a section on their websites where customers can leave recommendations.
Moreover, 73% are failing to point customers in the direction of social media platforms where such content is available. And while more than 90% of the brands are present on Facebook and Twitter, only 65% integrate their social media pages through technology such as Facebook Connect.