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The newest technology in the financial industry will reach CUs soon.

March 01, 2012
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Consumers Are Placing More Trust in ‘Social Commerce’

Social commerce combines social networks and commerce, and consumers are placing more trust in these sites, reports thenextweb.com.

Facebook leads the social commerce movement, but other sites such as Google are quickly following. But what’s unique about shopping through social media is the way companies use consumers’ personal information, the site reports. For instance, Givvy, a San Francisco-based startup, has created a social shopping cart on Facebook. The site offers personalized product suggestions to users based on their connections and interests. It also fills their online store with user-generated content, product offerings determined by users’ suggestions, not brands’ suggestions.

Social commerce provides a more direct relationship with consumers by cutting out the middleman—the retailer, thenextweb.com notes. For example, Coca-Cola and Nestle now allow consumers to make purchases directly through social media networks. Nestle offers social mechanics through the networks such as user feedback on products, Q&As, product suggestions, and user-generated shopping “stalls.”

But social commerce isn’t just for shopping. Many websites use personal information social media users make available, reports the Alaska Journal of Commerce. One is Kickstarter.com, where the artistically inclined can appeal for funding for their art, and those willing to help out can provide some or all the funds requested. Bundle.com tracks consumers’ spending, and uses the data to provide consumers comprehensive lists of restaurants and stores that fit their budgets.

And more reason for credit unions to pay attention to this trend: Financial websites are using social commerce, too.

Weemba.com allows consumers to search for a loan by posting nontraditional but relevant details, such as how the borrower plans to use the loan proceeds. Saveup.com features a game that helps consumers pay down their debt and set aside money in savings accounts.

Share Your Story

It’s the International Year of Cooperatives—a perfect time for credit unions to share how they improve their members’ lives.

CUNA wants to highlight—in words, pictures, and video—the many ways credit unions have a positive effect on the communities they serve. CUNA will share your stories on creditunionmagazine.com and also with stories.coop—the first global digital campaign to spread the benefits of cooperation through story-telling.

Some of your stories will also be shared at CUNA’s Governmental Affairs Conference in Washington, D.C., later this month.

How to submit your story:

  • Go to creditunionmagazine.com, and tell us who you are; and
  • Submit a story, photos, and links to videos that tell how your credit union goes above and beyond the call to serve members.

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Great article! Unfortunately, most employees don’t feel valued or appreciated by their supervisors or employers. In fact, research has shown that the predominant reason team members quit their jobs is because they don’t feel valued. This is in spite of the fact that employee recognition programs have proliferated in the workplace – over 90% of all organizations in the U.S. has some form of employee recognition activities in place. But most employee recognition programs are viewed with skepticism and cynicism – because they aren’t viewed as being genuine in their communication of appreciation. Getting the “employee of the month” award, receiving a certificate of recognition, or a “Way to go, team!” email just don’t get the job done. How do you communicate authentic appreciation? We have found people have different ways that they want to be shown appreciation, and if you don’t communicate in the language of appreciation important to them, you essentially “miss the mark”. Additionally, employees need to receive recognition more than once a year at their performance review. Otherwise, they view the praise as “going through the motions”. A third component of authentic appreciation is that the communication has to be about them personally – not the department, not their group, but something they did. Finally, they have to believe that you mean what you say. How you treat them has to match the words you use. If you are not sure how your team members want to be shown appreciation, the Motivating By Appreciation Inventory (www.appreciationatwork.com/assess) will identify the language of appreciation and specific actions preferred by each employee. You then can create a group profile for your team, so everyone knows how to encourage one another. Remember, employees want to know that they are valued for what they contribute to the success of the organization. And communicating authentic appreciation in the ways they desire it can make the difference between keeping your quality team members or having a negative work environment that everyone wants to leave. Paul White, Ph.D., is the co-author of The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace with Dr. Gary Chapman.

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