Our online vocabulary often consists of ‘friends’, ‘fans’ and ‘followers’ – the “F” factor. But how do these terms affect the everyday consumer?
The “F” factor is essentially the influence consumers have within their social networks, resulting in growing consumer engagement. Ultimately, creating another dimension of how we influence each other’s buying behavior.
According to trendwatching.com, one of the world’s leading trend spotting firms, there are five ways the “F” factor impacts consumers. This includes things like helping consumers discover new products, rate, recommend and review products, receive validation of their purchases, and overall, increase the level a social interaction when shopping.
As social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter continue to see astronomical growth, the “F” Factor will spread and have a much greater impact on consumers, far exceeding the influence of a simple Facebook comment or status update.
The trend will manifest itself in the rise of social commerce, where consumers “like” a product while shopping online at a store’s website. By clicking the like button, the product is instantly posted to the individual’s Facebook wall where they receive feedback from their friends prior to making a purchase.
These interactive, social platforms are very useful, especially as stores begin to provide in-store applications, such as Tweet Mirrors, which are cameras that allow you to connect to your Twitter feed and ask for opinions on your potential purchase. Smartphone apps like MyShopanion and GoTryItOn allow the user to compare product prices by scanning the product barcode as well as get instant feedback from friends.
Use of these applications will also grow as more shoppers carry smartphones and are constantly connected to their social networks. They will be free to rate and recommend products, as well as to ask for real-time feedback from friends and followers before making a purchase. It’s like having your very own advisory panel at your fingertips.