Future Shop Chooses Lithium Commerce Solution
Emeryville – 20 October, 2010 – Lithium Technologies, the leading provider of Social Customer Solutions, today announced that Future Shop is deploying Lithium Commerce, a solution for connecting shoppers with customer experts who help them make the right purchase decisions. Future Shop is adding Lithium Commerce on top of a vibrant customer community with the goal of providing peer sales support at the point of purchase. Future Shop's award-winning community has become a trusted resource for Canadians seeking information about consumer electronics.
"Future Shop has built the biggest community of electronics enthusiasts in Canada”, said Robert Pearson, vice president eCommerce at Future Shop. “It was only natural that all those knowledgeable and passionate experts would be fantastic at answering questions at the point of purchase to help customers make confident purchasing decisions. And we're looking for the level of trust that our community has created to infuse everything in the customer experience, from highlighting trustworthy product reviews to providing post-sales support. We see the addition of Lithium Commerce as a natural next step in extending the value of not just our community, but our whole customer experience."
The Most Reliable Salespeople: Trusted Peers
Consumers have become accustomed to reading reviews on commerce sites when they are considering a purchase. But while customer reviews have crucially increased the amount of information available to prospective purchasers, consumers increasingly seek multiple data points to affirm their trust in what they have read online. Of particular value are personalized recommendations from friends or trusted peers.
Recent industry statistics validate this trend:
- When asked what sources "influence your decision to use or not use a particular company, brand or product," 71 percent claim reviews from family members or friends exert a "great deal" or "fair amount" of influence. (Harris Interactive, June 2010)
- Eighty-three percent of online shoppers said they are interested in sharing information about their purchases with people they know, while 74 percent are influenced by the opinions of others in their decision to buy the product in the first place. (Manage Smarter, September 2009)
- Sixty-seven percent of shoppers spend more online after recommendations from an online community of friends. (Internet Retailer, September 2009)
A lack of content available from mobile devices, visits to multiple online sites and long wait times for answers to questions mean millions of lost dollars for retailers. For the next phase of social commerce, companies are thus focused on increasing the trustworthiness and timeliness of peer-generated recommendations. Key requirements include:
- The ability to assess the reputation or trustworthiness of a person writing a review or recommendation and surface that to other customers.
- A means of identifying members of a prospect's social circle and effectively route questions to those people who are more likely to provide trustworthy advice.
- A network of trusted enthusiasts that is engaged enough to provide timely responses to prospective customers' questions at the point of purchase.
- Native mobile capabilities for users accessing reviews and recommendations from a physical store.
- A way for those enthusiasts to recommend products in the course of doing the things they are already doing: answering questions, providing post-purchase consulting, or just talking about products they like.
The Lithium Commerce Solution
The Lithium Social Commerce solution helps enterprises drive the community of passionate users to help other customers with swift, accurate and trusted information at the point of purchase. Potential and existing customers enjoy increased responses to their questions and personalized and trusted information from their peers.
Key components of the solution include:
- Lithium Community Platform: the Lithium Commerce solution sits on top of the company’s industry-leading community platform, including its reputation engine, mobile experience, and sophisticated analytics.
- Ask Before Buy: using a simple question box on the product page, a prospective customer can ask a specific question and get a response from a community member whose expertise in the subject has been validated by other customers.
- Recommendations: participants can easily recommend specific purchases as part of their community conversation – embedding add-to-cart links that make it easier for customers to buy everything they need in a single transaction.
- Ratings and Reviews: for clients who do not have an existing reviews platform, Lithium Commerce provides tools for soliciting reviews from community members; for customers with an existing reviews solution, Lithium Commerce surfaces a reviewer's reputation and expertise to increase the trustworthiness of the review.
- Community Success Services: Lithium Commerce includes moderation, measurement and advisory services focused on increasing the swiftness and trustworthiness of product recommendations and reviews.
With Lithium Commerce, businesses benefit with increased conversions, increased brand engagement and increased purchase confidence. Consumers likewise benefit from a higher degree of purchase confidence and a lower return rate.
"There is a lot of industry debate about whether or not social media delivers a measurable ROI," said Lyle Fong, CEO and co-founder of Lithium Technologies. "We continue to focus on specific business cases where an enterprise can engage with its social customers and drive real business results. Lithium Commerce allows forward-thinking clients like FutureShop to connect their communities with the shopping cart and to see an clear uptick in revenue because of it."
Lithium Social Customer Solutions
The Lithium Commerce solution is a key component of the Lithium Social Customer Suite and runs on top of the Lithium Community platform, which has set the standard for social customer engagement.
Lithium Commerce is one of the company's first three business solutions tied explicitly to the customer lifecycle, leveraging the power of social customers to drive measurable business results. Lithium Awareness and Lithium Service are described further in separate announcements.
About Lithium Technologies
Your customers are everywhere. Lithium helps you find your social customers, understand their influence, and build lasting relationships. For market leaders such as Best Buy, AT&T, Research In Motion Limited (RIM), Univision, and PayPal, Lithium is the leading provider of social customer solutions that deliver real business results. The Lithium Social Customer Suite offers complete social monitoring, comprehensive community platform, and actionable analytics across millions of blogs, forums, and social networking sites. Our technology is proven in high-volume, growth environments and provides security, open and custom APIs, and multi-language support. Founded in 2001, Lithium is privately held with headquarters in Emeryville, California. For more information, visit www.lithium.com. Or, engage with us on Twitter, Facebook, and our community – the Lithosphere.
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