Not only have most retailers missed out on the social media windfall they could have been reaping, they still don’t get it.
Ok, I understand social media was new, in 2009. And maybe even for some folks it was still new in 2010. But it is 2011.
There are nearly one BILLION people using Facebook alone, not counting all the other social media sites out there. Do you (I’m talking to business owners now) really think NONE of your customers are using social media to communicate? Do you think for one second your customers are still using rotary telephones and asking the operator for a connection?
Frankly, I say if you are not using social media to promote your business you have no right being in business. So when your competitor blasts your sales out of the water and send you packing, don’t come crying to me.
Many retailers are overlooking the huge potential of transforming their online stores into entertainment destinations by integrating social media, according to a new report retail analyst Verdict. It reveals that although e-commerce and social media are separate entities for retailers, those that recognise the potential of combining the two will reap the rewards.
Charlotte Woods, analyst at Verdict, said: “Most retailers have recognised the value of social media, but very few have realised its potential to benefit their online stores. By viewing and running the two operations separately, retailers simply aren’t realising the full power of social media. Retailers have the ability to attract increased levels of traffic to their online stores by using social media to create entertainment destinations which consumers can get excited about. As a result, retailers have the ability to create retail theatre online.”
The research highlights how effective social media could be for online stores in helping to shape brand identity. For example, simply embedding YouTube videos of catwalk shows, and interviews with designers and celebrities could emphasise brand identity and boost customer engagement as they would help consumers to identify with the retailer on a personal level.
One retailer that exemplifies the extent to which retailers can use social media to turn their online stores into entertainment destinations is RVCA. The clothing company, which is based in the US and owned by the Australian brand Billabong, uses social media on its website to enforce a lifestyle that consumers can identify with. The website’s front page is dominated by blogs, YouTube clips, music tour dates and Facebook and Twitter pages. The link to the online shop is given lower priority than tabs for information pages. However, the retailer has benefited from the addition of social media as customers spend longer on the site, and brand engagement has increased, as has consumers’ likelihood of purchasing.
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