Wednesday Apr 25, 2012

Love, Want, Own, Wearing

It's not just about "like" anymore.  New expressive buttons will help retailers better capture consumer sentiment, and ultimately increase engagement.  Check out this social shopping video from 8thBridge...

Five Social Retailing Suggestions

The use of social media by retailers, or Social Retailing for short, continues to spread throughout the industry. However, there are very few established best practices since retailers are still exploring this new type of marketing and engagement. Retailers often have to try many approaches before finding the ones that work for their brand. Through my discussions and research, I’ve come up with five things retailers should consider:

1. Establish beachheads, now!

Remember when brands had to pay exorbitant prices for their web addresses when the internet went mainstream? Don’t let that happen with social media sites. Reserve accounts on the sites you might be using. Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter are the obvious choices, but there are others popping up all the time. Would Linkedin be appropriate? How about Pinterest?

You should also consider whether you need to support other languages. Do you need multiple Facebook pages for each country in which you operate? Should you consider Renren in China or Orkut in Brazil? Don’t assume the site popular in your home country are the same everywhere.

Also consider whether you want to establish a single corporate presence, or whether you want stores to have more control. Some retailers, like Best Buy and Walmart, allow individual stores to have accounts and create local content.

2. Acquire fans and followers.

Your customers are out there, but you can’t expect them to follow you without a little prodding. Sometimes they’ll follow you just because they want to be associated with your brand, but most often they want to get something out of the relationship. Plan on a campaign to acquire them across your selected sites. This is where contests, coupons, and promotions can attract the masses.

Once you've got their attention, you must continue to engage them with fresh content that includes sneak previews, product reviews, surveys, special events, etc.  While content should be coordinated across different social media sites, keep in mind the expectations for those sites varies.  You can typically post to Twitter multiple times daily, to Facebook a few times a week, and YouTube once a month.

3. Reward your best fans and followers.

Customers want to feel special, so let your best fan and followers know you appreciate them.  Offer them special deals, products, and badges that help them know you value them.  They, in turn, will become brand advocates and help spread your message.

When possible, make your rewards social.  For example, a promotion goes into affect only after 5000 likes, offer a discount for retweets, or award a badge for the most interesting comment.

4. Make shopping social.

Social commerce is not about recreating your e-commerce site within a social site.  Consumers will visit your website when they want to buy, but they'll visit your social channels when they want to learn.  Its important to foster conversations about your products and services, and refer people to your website when they are ready to purchase.

Similarly, you should add social features to your e-commerce site.  Allow your customers to review products, make recommendations, and discover each others' preferences.  Facebook is now allowing retailers to customize the famous "like" button with more expressive buttons such as "I own it," "I want it," and "not sure."

5. Mine psychographic data.

Consumers, especially teens, are willing to share lots of information about themselves in exchange for a more personalized experience.  With their permission, you can gather psychographic data that includes their interests, activities, and opinions.  This additional information helps create a more complete view of individuals so you can tailor their online and in-store experience to meet their needs.

Other resources I suggest are the NRF Social Retailing Blueprint and this presentation.

Thursday Apr 19, 2012

Shop It To Me

 Upcoming webinar that may be of interest...

Email_HeaderComplimentary Webinar organized by Oracle Retail and Spigit

DATE: Wednesday, April 25th
TIME: 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. PST

Point, click, share, compare and buy all from the palm of your hand – in store and online.  Sounds fabulous for consumers, but Retailers will have their hands full as social channels continue to redefine the rules of engagement.  This Webinar will bring you new insights on how to avoid common pitfalls in social retail and make the leap to fully realize the value of seamless customer engagement.

Join David Dorf, Sr. Director of Technology Strategy, Oracle; James Gardner, Chief Strategy Officer, Spigit and Adam Metz, author of #1 Amazon Best-Seller (internet marketing, customer service) The Social Customer, as they discuss:

  • The state of social retail
  • 5 social media secrets to securing connected customers
  • Crossing the chasm between theory and real-time co-creation with your customers

Attendees will learn:

  • Best practices in social retail models that work to create competitive advantage
  • How to engage the crowd to uncover game-changing insights
  • Real-world examples from the retail frontline.

Register now for your chance to win a copy of the book, The Social Customer, by Adam Metz, or a Silver membership to The Social Concept Customer Community.

Monday Apr 02, 2012

Engineered Systems for Retail Webinar

Please join Oracle experts on April 17th for a webcast discussing the benefits of Engineered Systems for retail operations.  You'll hear about Engineered Systems delivering faster queries, data compression, and reduced batch run-times for retailers around the world.

Click here for the details.


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