Social Tagging and Effective E-commerce

I’m adding this quick post to introduce “The Effective Website” a bi-monthly column I’ve begun writing for Multichannel Merchant magazine. Each “Effective Website” column looks at a different issue relating to site conversion, usability and design. The January column covers the Web 2.0 phenomenon of social tagging. The article explores how site owners can capitalize on tagging as an alternative shopping path complimenting browse and search. It also explores tagging as a “subversion” of the traditional retailer-in-control mode of site design. Needless to say, things are moving fast: when the piece was written in late December, it was still difficult to find more than a handful of e-commerce sites (beyond Amazon) that had embraced tagging. But since the time of its publication, a number of retailers have reached out to comment that they plan to introduce tagging on their own sites within Q1. For many others, the new developments may simply be a nudge to keep the core site nav effective as a conversion tool.
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