Archive for September, 2009

OMMA Global – Panel Review

Posted by Katie Morse on September 25th, 2009

Our CEO, Sang Kim, recently spoke on a panel entitled: “Joining the Party: Publishers Can Play and Prosper in the Social Media Sandbox” at OMMA Social.

Panel Details

In 2009, social networks like Twitter and Facebook evolved from “brand extensions” and “outreach” for major media into established publisher outposts that can drive traffic, user interaction, and now even ad revenues. But what best practices have emerged for managing these new syndication and relationship engines? This panel will look at issues including who mans the feed, who creates policies for maintaining voice and editorial consistency, and whether social nets are seen as an editorial operation or a way to market media brands. Lastly, this panel will give insight into whether social networks offer traditional content providers a new way of thinking about their own content and relationship to their audience. Last year, publishers scrambled to “plug into” the nets. This year they have to harness the energy.


Andrea Harrison, Strategy Director, Razorfish


Karl Lavin, Managing Editor, Forbes

Joe Pircilini, VP of Sales, seekingalpha

Sang Kim, Founder and CEO, Ripple6

Alan Levy, Founder & CEO, BlogTalkRadio

The panel focused on how publishers can use social tools to enhance their business objectives and what best practices have emerged through publisher activity so far.

The video of the “advice” question is below (5:30 in length), and some quotable excerpts are contained below.

“Social media a year and a half ago was a curse word. Now everyone’s embracing it” – Joe Porcilini, seekingalpha

“Within 15 minutes the critics were our marketers.”– Karl Lavin, Forbes

“Give the users a voice” – Sang Kim, Ripple6

“You have to add value to the user. That’s why they’re going to come back to your site” – Alan Levy, BlogTalkRadio

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Retail Shopping Communities Attract Shoppers, Influence Purchasing, and Retain Consumers

Posted by Katie Morse on September 9th, 2009

New Research: 83 percent of online shoppers express interest in sharing information about their purchases with people they know

NEW YORK – September 9, 2009 – As social networks proliferate and consumers report spending more of their time online, e-commerce is ripe to weave community into the customer experience. On average, two-thirds of consumers spend at least one hour per week social networking, with almost half spending three hours or more on the sites. In August 2009, the e-tailing group and Ripple6, a leading provider of social media services to e-tailers, brand marketers and publishers, launched the Social Commerce: Conversations Among Consumers survey to 1,000 frequent online shoppers.

For more information on this survey, visit

“The research objective was to explore consumer perceptions regarding social media relative to connecting customers to one another, to merchants, and the subsequent influence on purchasing,” explains Lauren Freedman, president of the e-tailing group. “We are pleased to report that our findings bode well for the online merchant community.”

The survey results confirm that consumers are social with 83 percent of online shoppers very or somewhat interested in sharing information about their purchases with people they know. In addition, 41 percent would be inclined to join and be active participants in online communities that share information about their favorite products.

Sharing/Community influences purchasing
This information sharing impacts commerce as pre-purchase opinions from others influence buying decisions for 74 percent of online shoppers. Additionally, 73 percent agreed that “people like me” are the most trusted sources when making a shopping purchase. In fact, product recommendations from friends are almost twice as valuable as product recommendations from merchants (46 percent versus 24 percent) for their ability to influence purchases.

“This research confirms that most of the things consumers find valuable are those delivered by community,” concludes Sang Kim        , CEO of Ripple6. “Our social platform applied to commerce fosters strong connections with consumers to deliver more robust shopping experiences that generate incremental online sales and keep valued customers returning more frequently.”

Consumers want to connect via community
The next logical step in this social commerce evolution is to create online communities that focus on connecting shoppers directly with others who have purchased similar products. Survey results indicate that two out of three consumers would be likely to join such a community if invited via email. The primary reason for wanting to be part of such a retail community is sharing information to help make smarter buying decisions. Equally as important is the participant’s desire to reach out and help others by recommending products and sharing their expertise.

Merchants benefit from social commerce
These shopping-focused communities can noticeably increase Average Order Value (AOV) and aid customer retention. Sixty seven percent of users are more likely to purchase more based on recommendations from people in a community in which they participate and 62 percent are more likely to frequent a retailer they have shopped before if they can be part of a community within that site.

About the e-tailing group

The e-tailing group, inc. serves as the multi-channel merchant’s eye, bringing a merchant’s sensibility to evolving the multi-channel shopping experience. A Chicago-based consultancy, they provide practical strategic perspectives and actionable merchandising solutions to merchants selling online as well as to enabling technology firms. For more background about this research study or additional information on the e-tailing group, inc. please contact Lauren Freedman at or visit the e-tailing group website

About Ripple6, Inc.

Ripple6™ helps marketers, publishers and e-tailers implement their business strategy through social media. The company provides an enterprise white label social media platform to create consumer engagements and relationships, enhance social marketing, generate consumer insights, and facilitate commerce and collaboration. It is easily customized to incorporate a brand’s look and feel for integration into an existing web site or to create an entirely new site. Ripple6, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI), is based in New York and its list of clients and partners includes P&G, Meredith Corporation, and Unilever. For more information, go to

Media Contact:

Julie Nicholson

Weber Shandwick for Ripple6

Social Shopping and Consumer Influence

Posted by Katie Morse on September 2nd, 2009

In a blogspotting article by Business Week, the results of a social commerce study on myYearbook were revealed.

This study revolved around the interaction of social media and e-commerce, which has yet to reach its full potential and gain widespread traction (though some notable exceptions exist, including Zappos and Dell).

A few things become clear when reading the results

  1. A overwhelming percentage of respondents (83%) have not posted information about a purchase they’re planning to make on their profile or in a status message in order to gather their friends opinions.
  2. People are more likely to ask about “Small ticket” items such as movie tickets, music recommendations and video games instead of  “large ticket” items, such as vacation destinations, new homes, or appliances.

We believe that the payoff for consumer adoption of social shopping can have huge impacts to  bottom-line revenues, even for small ticket items in the short-term.


As you can see, the majority of social network users have not vetted purchase decisions with their online friends. But of the 17%, or more than 5,700 who have, their responses are surprising:

* 81% received advice from their friends and followers

* 74% of those who received advice were influenced by it

That is a huge statistic.  To translate these percentages into real numbers, out of the 30,000+ people polled, just over 4,000 were influenced by advice received from their personal network about a potential purchase decision.

E-Commerce companies and retailers may still be figuring our how to integrate their platforms with social media tools to socialize the buying cycle, but the potential is there, and the payoff could be huge.