The graphic above and associated research published back in 2012 by the BBC blows apart the old idea that online users split 1% writers, 9% commenters and 90% readers (hat tip to Alan Patrick for the pointer). It turns out that it was the difficulty of engaging that was holding people back and now that Twitter, Facebook, and many others have made it much easier 77% of us are actively participating.
For ecommerce companies that means the goal should be to get 77% of customers engaging, and more over time as the tools get easier still. Building active communities around companies is a great way to create value. It isn’t easy, but done well community improves customer loyalty, customer feedback,marketing efficiency, and product insights. Collectively these can amount to much improved revenues and profitability and a significant barrier to competitors seeking to enter the market.