Not long ago, the sale of a product depended only on the work of the brand that manufactured it, on the advertising investment intended to make it known and on the quality of after-sales service. The consumer, isolated at the end of the chain, had to build his choices alone in the thicket of advertising discourse, helped only by guides of the “Que Choisir” type and his entourage. Ditto for the use and sharing of his impressions, both with the brand and with other users. But the situation has completely changed…
Consumers now bring decisive added value to each of the four key stages of the customer journey and business innovation: purchasing, product use, loyalty and collaborative innovation.
Today, a product sells less without the help of consumers
We now know that a product with customer reviews has a conversion rate multiplied by 1.4 compared to a product without reviews or recommendations. The notice itself is already being outdated: static, at the brand’s complete disposal, it generates inevitable suspicions of manipulation. Consumers now want to enter into a real collaborative sale with other consumers who can help them decide on their purchase, regardless of the brand. The emergence and proliferation of conversation tools in merchant sites are proof of this.
Chat, click to community, forum… brands and merchants seek to reproduce behavior present in stores by connecting visitors to merchant sites with one another. L’Oréal, Darty, AllSecur, Feu Vert, M6 boutiques, Mitsubishi… all connect consumers, users of the products they sell to each other, directly on their own site.
Using a product becomes a shared experience between consumers
From the consumer’s point of view, the ability to find other users very quickly 7 days a week to learn how to use their product, get the most out of it, solve small problems with their use or repair it is an obvious advantage for the consumer. On the Companion website (Moulinex), experience, exchanges between consumers has become a key point of the product. (An example here)
As for brands, Gartner estimates the savings in customer service costs that mutual assistance can bring them to 50%.
The collaboration of consumers among themselves around a product adds an incomparable emotional experience
We are here on the concept of “people inside” or “user inside” products: sharing information with peers around their products, helping them to use them, meeting them, creates emotional added value in the experience product, which far exceeds its strict use. A real asset for brands and merchants in their loyalty process.
Collaborative creation between brands and customers as a vector for success
Collaborative creation is already underway, notably with players like Haier in China. It has already largely entered into industrial co-creation processes with its consumers. This is also the case for Darty, L’Oréal Paris and Sonovente who collaborate daily with their consumers throughout the sales process for their products.
At Wibilong, we believe that to be effective, a product will have to demonstrate real collaborative added value on each of these four points: purchase, use, emotion and innovation.
We also believe that, in the near future, a product designed without taking into account the contributions of consumers collected will greatly reduce its chances of success.
A critical part of the value of products is now created by players that the brand does not know and does not control. As soon as the 4 collaborative capital gains become key to selling a product, brands must find a solution to generate them systematically.
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And you, what about your collaborative added value?
About the Author
Marion Nougier is Wibilong Marketing Manager, Responsible for partnerships and visibility for Girls in Tech Paris. Passionate about innovation, Marion is at the service of disruptive ideas.