Passive BI vs. Participative Customer Intel

Some pearls of wisdom from Shop.org: http://blog.shop.org/2009/01/05/nine-e-commerce-predictions-for-2009/. One of the most interesting and unexpected features of eCommerce has been the willingness of people to share their experiences with a product, some even share photographs and recommendations, some of the feedback is exhaustive. Well, here is where some considered objectivity from both the buyer reviewing the comments and the owner of the business need to consider:

  1. Source: cynics may question the validity of source itself
  2. Impartiality: wether the reviewer is an impartial observer
  3. Subjectivity - i.e. some people may have a lower threshold of satisfaction than others

I would like to introduce etailers to the joys of a participative medium and business, here is where just the participation itself is a positive to the business model. If the criticism is negative, wether it be of the site or product, it is in these hard times a bucket of water to the face and is a possible line for business owners into what their customers need/want. This is a source of intelligence which is raw, as it peels away numbers, statistical machinations and lays bare the customer need. If I owned a business and had a chance to give discounts, I would like to link the discount to a feedback. Of course some may not want to publicize these feedbacks but what good is that to the rest of us?

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