I’m reading a post by Lisa Barone about the Social Media presentation at SES New York. One of the speakers, Gini Dietrich, points out that people want to see inside a company, they want to get to know the people that work there. I’ve believe this for a long time, even before we had the term social media. I have frequently expressed this idea as “people buy from people”.
I’ll admit this might be a personal bias. I spent 15 years on the road selling various products and services before I struck out on my own. Buying from a website is very impersonal. Online purchases work well for commodity type purchases that are usually driven by price. As a former sales manager once said to me “sell on price, lose on price”.
The idea that people buy from people is important to keep in mind when you are developing your eCommerce strategy. Will your site sell based on price? Will people be available to assist? Have you posted pictures of people that work at the company? Humans are a social animal. We want to see “who” we are dealing with.
If the idea that people buy from people sounds like common sense you’d be right. Unfortunately business owners do not always apply offline common sense to their online initiatives.