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Published on December 22nd, 2006 | by Tom

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The Coming Battle for Alpha Consumers will be Intense

Social media and shopcasting sites are changing the way people discover and buy products.  Advertising, particularly annoying interruption or contextual advertising, is increasingly ineffective with the Bubble Generation consumer. For BubbleGen shoppers, nothing is more powerful than the wisdom of crowds and the opinions of people they trust.  They prefer to skirt the cloying clatter of self-interested pitches and want to see how products rate with people who’ve already taken one for the team, so to speak. 

I’ve talked about sites like Wists and ThisNext before: a couple of noteworthy new sites that aim at this reality are iliketotallyloveit and Dealigg.  Both sites work in the Digg and Reddit models, where users vote and influence page ranking of products, with some differences of emphasis.

Loveitlogo_1 While still in beta, iliketotallyloveit, promises to be a big hit with Bubble Generation consumers, ages 15 to 25.  Produced by a young team of entrepreneurs, its upbeat energy and focus on smart categories and just as importantly, price ranges, gives the site home run potential.

Dealigg1For its part, Dealigg has smartly carved out a differentiation as a shopcasting site for bargain hunters where users submit the best deals they’ve found around the net, including freebies and free-after rebate deals.

Both sites are worth your time.  The bigger question raised by the rise of social shopping services like these, is what happens when influential and opinionated alpha shoppers disproportionately drive the buying process?  As Silke Jahn, one of the founders of iliketotallyloveit recently expressed to me, today’s new consumers don’t trust advertisers, they trust each other.  So, when people ignore producer advertising in favor of user critiques, the power shifts to a vocal and articulate minority that can make or break a new product.  The battlefield now shifts to these new market-makers.  Expect an avalanche of reward schemes, new revenue sharing deals, and favor-making gifts to the lead-dog consumers.  Are you ready?

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2 Responses to The Coming Battle for Alpha Consumers will be Intense

  1. hubbub says:

    Social Commerce

    From the Infopaces blog: a great post about social shopping. Author Emanuele Quintarelli notes that the shopping commerce generated on social networking sites could dwarf the advertising spend: Word-of-mouth-marketing could be an incredibly powerful tr…

  2. I just launched a similar site: BuzzFever.com, a community site for tracking product buzz.
    http://www.buzzfever.com/
    Some of our notable features:
    Product images can be pulled in from the Amazon product database or can be uploaded.
    Each product features BuzzLinks, which are links to other sites referencing the product (e.g., official product site, reviews, blog articles, etc.)
    The Top Products section enables very granular tracking of buzzes per time period, so you can answer questions like “What were the most buzzed products on Dec. 22nd, 2006?” or “Most buzzed for the month of December?”.
    Check it out. I welcome all comments at feedback@buzzfever.com
    Curtis Summers
    Founder, BuzzFever.com

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