Turn social chatter into sales

Fast Company Magazine has a great article on a new start up that is looking to turn Social Media chatter into hard ROI –

Read the original post here.

In the article, the author talks about the work of Sociable Labs and their new product for e-commerce sites.  The product allows consumers to recommend a site or product to friends.

The San Mateo, California, startup offers a suite of social applications that can be incorporated right on a retailer’s e-commerce site. The main thing Sociable does, founder Nisan Gabbay tells Fast Company, is to help retailers focus on maximizing sales through social media, not just buzz-building. This can happen more effectively, Gabbay says, if a business gets out of the way of conversations between friends, which are happening on Facbeook (and elsewhere).

I think this could be something cool as it takes the third party (i.e.: Facebook) out of the picture which allows real conversations between people to happen, not just a shout out on a ‘wall’ or ‘timeline’.  It also, and this is more important in my opinion, allows the efforts to be measured, compared, and evaluated.  A must have piece of the social media storm that has been missing so far.

What do you think?  Would you tell your friends about a product or site you’ve found using this method?

Wal-Mart’s Christmas Price Guarantee

Wal-Mart repintado
Image via Wikipedia

Wal-Mart is looking to strike back at other retailers:

Read the story at USA Today

Interesting to me:

  • You don’t need the product, just the receipts
  • Comparison doesn’t include online purchases
  • You get difference back in Wal-Mart gift Cards
  • Almost an 8 week window to watch for pricing
  • I bet they include internet retailers for next year

What are your thoughts – Did they go far enough?  Will you take advantage of this?

From the “should be obvious” department…

Free shipping offers can lead to more holiday sales – Internet Retailer.

I appreciate the headline, but there is a telling quote in the article:

More than half of all transactions (in the 2010 Holiday Season) included free shipping…

That’s pretty cool.  I can’t tell if I’m surprised that the number is this high or this low. (I wonder how they account for Amazon.com Prime sales?)

The article also includes some good suggestions from Forrester to increase on line sales even further.

You don’t know your competition

This is the fifth part of a five part series, diving deeper into individual points from the post : “5 reason’s your product is not at retail”

5 – You don’t know your competition

Selling to retail isn’t done in a vacuum.  Other companies are out there pitching selling options for your product.  Probably selling the exact thing that you are.

Every time I’ve heard of a new, ground breaking product that no one else has, there is another.  We can argue about features and we can debate how to categorize the product.  But there is competition for your product out there.

Your job is to know about it and to know the difference’s.  Hopefully, your product is superior in too many ways.  You don’t have to bring up the competition, unless you are entering a crowded market place that you need to differentiate yourself in.

The point is: as big as the world is, in today’s limited retail environment, it is a small world. You better know what is out there…

 

You have handed off sales to someone…

This is the fourth part of a five part series, diving deeper into individual points from the post : “5 reason’s your product is not at retail”

4 – You have handed off sales to someone…

If you’ve hired a sales manager, sales person, or independent reps, your job is not even close to being done.

Making the hire doesn’t do the job.

As the responsible person (it is your company, right?) you have to guide and lead all parts of the company, including the sales dept.  Even if you have no interest or desire to become the sales person on a day to day basis.

Your involvement depends on the type of person you have hired and their scope of responsibility.

If you hire a VP of Sales, then you would expect that person to be able to handle a greater share of the decisions and actions.  You can set the strategy, timeline, and expected revenue and let them handle the rest.  You still have to check in constantly as to the strategy and execution, however, I have seen the best results when checking on the specific details also.  Drilling down with your sales person and team on specific accounts, channels, or deals can make sure that something important isn’t missed.

If you hire an independent sales rep (or several) than you are responsible for far more of the work, the strategy, and the follow up.  You have to MANAGE them and their activity on a weekly basis.  This is your product, your company, and your sales.  If you are not willing to undertake that work yourself, then you need to find someone who will do it for you.