Customer reviews technology vendor, Bazaarvoice, got a recent write-up in Internet Retailer. They've introduced a new social commerce application, MobileVoice, that creates a mobile web site for a retailer, and populates it with customer reviews listed by product category. This mobile web site lets shoppers search by keyword or by SKU number. Having this information handy really enhances the buyer's choice at a critical point of decision: in the retail store.
One of the first retailers to launch mobile reviews from Bazaarvoice is Sephora USA, Inc. "In-store shoppers can simply read the reviews on any product, or use top-rated products as a guide," so says Julie Bornstein, Sr. VP of Sephora Direct.
Once again, this new site shows that two of the hottest topics these days, mobile marketing and social networking, combine in a powerfully complimentary manner. There are so many cool ways to promote these types of social m-commerce applications - the least of which should include campaigns to their customers who subscribe to their email marketing promotions. It's already been proven that including customer product reviews, buyer recommendations, and Top Rated products in promotional emails increases sales.
So with Sephora, there's a high probability that many of their customers are reading those emails on their mobile phones. Put a link to the social m-commerce site in the email, then. Even better, put a shortened URL generated by tinyurl, bit.ly, is.gd, hex.io, or any others. This makes the URL more mobile-friendly.
Could Sephora also promote this site through SMS messaging campaigns? Sure; why not. But as I said before - there's a higher cost to SMS messaging than there is to email messaging. In today's down economy, budgets everywhere are getting squeezed. Just remember: mobile marketing isn't just SMS; using email for mobile marketing is a powerful compliment.
Do you use a social m-commerce site to get buying advice when you're in the store? If so, share your experience. If not, why not? Leave me your comment. I want to hear from you.