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Video Social Commerce – Insight Roundtables with Bazaarvoice

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We are extremely pleased to announce the release of our first Insight Roundtable video series, on Social Commerce, in conjunction with Bazaarvoice. This series brings together leading retailers – M&S, QVC , eSpares, DRL (along with the IMRG, Bazaarvoice and Internet Retailing) – to discuss the stages in Social Commerce, best practice and the experiences in moving from ‘social media’ to ‘social commerce’.

In this series we look at:

  • Implementation – the challenges to overcome, gaining buy-in from the board, and approaching the launch of a social commerce programme

  • Acquisition – to to launch the initial offering and gain the first customer contributions and engagement

  • Amplify – from the initial launch, how to grow and extend the social commerce programme

  • Operationally – how both to support ongoing growth and to link to other areas of the business, making social commerce part of the ‘enterprise-grade’ activities of a modern multichannel retailer

  • Analyse – ROI and performance are at the heart of retailers’ adoption of Social Commerce. In this section we consider the appropriate metrics and measurement approaches

  • Expand – what’s next? What’s new? What are the trends in the market? What does the future of Social Commerce hold?

The project originated from conversations I had with Brett Hurt, chief executive of Bazaarvoice, about the possible futures for ratings and reviews (R&R). Some years ago it was clear that R&R would offer and uplift, but I remember challenged Brett about the future once all retailers had adopted R&R: where might we go? what would be next? how could we distinguish and differentiate?

Over a coffee we refined our discussion into the six stages of Social Commerce and thought we’d turn the debate into a short feature. However as we planned the feature it became clear that leading retailers were already developing the professional and commercial practice about which we’d been theorising, and the ’roundtable’ idea was born.

In the time we took to find space in people’s diaries we were surprise by how far we’d travelled. “Operationalise” was a theory when we first discussed the need to manage reviews at scale, now it’s a fact. “Social Commerce” was a hope, but based upon simply ratings and reviews. Now that Bazaarvoice are serving some 2,300 reviews per second (!) it’s clear that managing social commerce at scale has become a challenge sooner than we expected!

Over the course of the production we were more surprised at how surprised we were by the pace of change.

In the coming weeks I’ll be looking at at each of the dimensions within Social Commerce, but for now please do let us know your thoughts on the series, our approach and any topics you’d like to see covered in the coming months.

My thanks go to Brett for his good humour under challenge in our initial discussions and for a couple of years of insights and learning. Also to Jacob Salamon, of Bazaarvoice, for his tireless organisation. The series would not have been possible without the wonderful, open and stimulating contributions of Gina Deeble, head of interactive content; QVC Kimberly Correia, business development manager, Marks & Spencer Matthew Henton, marketing director, eSpares Andrew Kirkcaldy, online marketing manager, DRL and Andrew McClelland, director of business development, IMRG: our thanks to all.

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