Adorama’s Approach Indicates a Change in Social Q&A

julio 26, 2011 by John Swords

We’re thrilled to welcome Adorama to the TurnTo Network.  See the press release here. Adorama is one of the leading online photo gear specialists.  Though they apparently chose to skip the IR rankings in the most recent version, they were previously ranked as high as #381.



In their first full month using the TurnTo social Q&A product, Ask Owners, Adorama has seen a remarkably high engagement rate from their customer base.  Questions about popular items received an average of 4.3 social answers each, with the first of those reaching the asking customer in about an hour.  The answer rate on question emails sent to past purchasers was 9%, bringing a large number of past customers back to the Adorama site and providing valuable user-generated content for future visitors and for SEO.

While we’re delighted at the success Adorama is having with Ask Owners, we think the real significance here is bigger than just: further evidence that «TurnTo works».  The real significance is this: social Q&A for ecommerce is no longer just a tag-along application to customer reviews; social Q&A is now emerging as its own category of ecommerce tool.  Leading online merchants are starting to take a top-down approach to defining what they want from social Q&A – and it looks different from what their customer reviews vendors have been offering them.

Before they chose TurnTo, Adorama did a competitive evaluation of alternative Q&A tools.  Presumably it would have been convenient for them to work with the product from their customer reviews provider.  But Adorama didn’t just want the most convenient solution.  They wanted an approach designed from the ground up to tap into the enthusiasm, expertise, and good will of their customer base.  In short, the wanted a truly social approach to Q&A.

If Adorama were the only online merchant we were hearing this from, we might figure it was an exception.  But they’re not. Unlike 2010, when most merchants adopting Q&A were just reacting to vendor push (hey, including ours), we now talk to many who have already developed specs and RFQs with demanding requirements.  In particular, they want Q&A to be a key part of their Social strategy, not just a customer support tool.  They see that, used right, Q&A enables shoppers to get in touch directly with past customers that can help them make smart purchase choices.  In short, they understand that with real social Q&A, customers become salespeople for them in the best sense of the word; not paid advocates, but trusted advisors.  And while they recognize that it’s simple to just accept what their reviews vendor offers, those that want to achieve this vision are looking for true best-in-breed providers – ie they are looking elsewhere.

And that is not just a nice vendor success story, it’s a sea change!

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For more details, check out the formal announcement in our Press Room.