Wisdom of the Crowd

The theory of the wisdom of the crowd suggests that large groups of people are collectively smarter than individuals when it comes to problem-solving and decision making.


How does the wisdom of the crowd apply to e-commerce?

Personalization techniques that apply the key learnings of the wisdom of the crowd idea have been common-place in online shopping for several years.

Online businesses have been quick to grasp the notion that most of the time their customers don’t know what they’re going to buy when they start looking; trending, last purchased, and stock level messaging has proven very effective in providing the necessary reassurance.

Many of the top brands working with Qubit guide and support their customers in their online journey, particularly around purchasing decisions, through social proof recency and trending personalizations. These draw on the power of social influence to provide confidence, reassurance, and validation in those vital moments in the purchasing funnel.

What personalization tactics draw on the wisdom of the crowd?

Shoppers often require reassurance and confidence in making purchasing decisions. Surfacing information about what other shoppers are purchasing is a good way of validating those decisions, especially for big-ticket items. If an online shopper sees that a product is popular, they are more likely to feel justified in placing an order. Equally, surfacing top trending, low-stock messaging, and limited-time offers enhance the perception that the shopper is somehow missing out by not placing an order.

Beyond these tactics, many top brands regularly feature product recommendations to encourage their customers to make new connections between product items, dig deeper into a catalog, and provide inspiration, always with upsell and cross-sell opportunities in mind.

Surfacing product-related comments are a further tactic, commonly employed, to increase the conversion propensity of customers. Shoppers like to know that others have enjoyed a product or service and that they got value for money. This information is surprisingly effective in creating a sense of trust between seller and buyer; this indeed is one of the central tenets of the wisdom of the crowd.