Gartner defines social commerce as the use of “social network sites to convert a commerce transaction”. Through social media we are known to give context to products. This can be done through many user generated initiatives.
The use of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and many other social communities in the retail space are becoming increasingly prominent. The vast size of Facebook, makes it a marketers dream, allowing for the exchange of user-generated content in the form of reviews, blogs and social design. Social Design, a term less familiar is when you create a custom pair of running shoes in an online store, and can then post your design to Facebook or different social media platforms to get feedback from friends. This adds relevance to the brand, as well as promotion to the service and product. Gartner indicates that 63% of consumers have made a purchase based on a retailer’s posting on Facebook. As consumers continue to be able to filter marketing emails and skip past commercials on television, integrating within active digital communities and outlets is proving to be effective and relatively low cost in comparison.
The most recent application of social media in the multi-channel environment is Nordstroms. They are setting the trend with the use of Pinterest, integrating with an in-store experience. After creating a lot of buzz on their endeavour, J. Crew is following suit with a similar model.
It is important to note that success of a social media campaign in retail should not be measured on the amount of interaction a channel gets, rather the number of sales conversion it leads to. The term multi-channel lends to the concept of either directly converting a sale online through one of its touch points or driving the consumer to a physical store to complete a sale.
As the consumer evolves, so does technology. In the retail space as one piece of the puzzles moves the other does in consequence. The ties to social media and retail will continue to mesh. So happy liking, tweeting and pinning!
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