Go to: Section menu | Main menu | Footer | Top of Page

Market Research


Online recommendations replace personal service

With Internet, consumers lose their anonimity

  • Key4Communications

One of the usual complaints of retailers and buyers concerning electronic commerce is the loss of personal service. Nevertheless and without reaching the classical relationship between buyer and salesman that can be established in traditional stores, it is true that online shops offer tools that can help to know your client and also boost sales.

José María Vilas, one of the main experts in commerce and distribution, author of Marcas líderes y distribuidores (Leader brands and distributors, Libros profesionales de empresa, ESIC, 2011) is sure of this: “It’s going to be the great revolution in the high-consumption market. Nowadays, big brands have millions of buyers that are anonymous. They are only known by their typology. But in the future with Internet and fidelity cards, all these anonymous consumers will have name and surnames”.

Loss of anonymity
As explained by Vilas, who was president of Unilever Spain and is current director of the consultancy firm Vilas AG and chairman of the board of Panrico, e-commerce allows to have a register of all operations and searches done by clients, and retailers can use this data to recommend similar products and also offer promotions related to products usually bought by the client. Also, this buys and searches information can be linked to others done by clients who have done similar operations and could also have similar profiles and preferences.

These applications obviously have their critics, as some see a possible invasion of privacy. In spite of this, it is a growing practice, already applied by online stores such as Amazon and  Netflix, that include personal recommendations based on previous choices.

Other buyers advice
In any case, another kind of recommendations is constant in online commerce: the ones done by consumers. This can be done rating products and services with comments in the store web (as happens in Amazon and La casa del libro), but also in other forums and social networks.

In fact, according to a study by Affilinet (pdf), 13.88% of European buyers use social networks to share new products and recommendations, while 15.6% search for these comments in social networks before deciding to buy any product. Some of these social networks are based on geolocation, such as Foursquare and Lowffer, and of course this use could also be relevant for sales in physical shops.

Online commerce: some data
Also according to Affilinet, 91.4% of Europeans use Internet for their personal buys, with Germany and Spain showing highest percentages: 95% and 94.3%. E-commerce is growing every year: in Spain and as published by the Telecommunications Market Commission (pdf), buys and sells of goods and services reached the record figure of €7,317.6 million in 2010, 27.2% more than in 2009.

  • La Tafanera
  • delicious
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn

Go to: Section menu | Main menu | Footer | Top of Page