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Bringing Social Media into the Retail Environment
Posted on July 2nd 2013
Shopping has always been a social experience. Before the invent of cameras and emails and smart phones and Facebook, people always discussed their favorite stores, newly purchased items and that new line of dresses at the shop in town.
Similarly, the rise of social media platforms did not stop people from coming into a store, taking a picture of a beautiful pair of shoes and sending it to their friend. Social media simply provided an outlet for people to share this information with a wider audience. Whether there’s a social community built around your brand, store, products or not, people will always be inclined to share their shopping experiences online.
In today’s world, it’s about figuring out a how to be a part of the conversation that’s already happening online. How can brands and retailers leverage that consumer-generated content that’s already being created and become a relevant and guiding part of the discussion and brand story?
Part of what every brand should bake into an in-store experience is that the store itself is THE social hub where the most relevant and impactful conversations about that brand takes place. The key for brands is figuring out how to turn that social content into commerce.
Customers respond well to content that looks authentic. They respond to other shoppers, consumers and friends. For example, when a customer sees a pair of shoes they are considering in a retail display that came from another shopper via social media it can immediately compel action at the point of sale.
Displaying dynamic social content in a retail environment can create connection with your customers and demonstrates that you as a brand and a retailer are listening to them. It creates a dialogue between you and your customers – offering gives more opportunity to off and online to offer products as solutions to their questions and problems.
Bringing Social into the In-Store Experience
In order to show the “social proof” of items when it comes to commerce, Nordstrom is trying out a new way to highlight the popularity of certain products with Pinterest, tagging some of its most pinned items online in the store with the Pinterest logo. It’s one way of trying to tell consumers: This is popular in the social world, and here’s how we can prove it to you.
Nine West made a commitment to focus on their digital and social strategy in all of their marketing efforts. In doing so, they experimented at their flagship retail store on Lexington Avenue in New York City, where the brand uses Postano to power real-time social displays in the store. A recent feature in Women’s Wear Daily (download the full story), addressed the innovative social displays in the revamped retail location:
“Digital has been a priority since 2010 and the brand is active on Facebook — where it’s on track to reach 1 million fans this season; Twitter; Pose; Instagram, and Pinterest. Keeping in line with this innovation, an interactive column was installed in the center of the flagship that will allow for mobile checkout and display visuals from the brand’s social feeds.”
Using Postano Retail, Nine West pulls in real-time social content from visitors to the store based on hashtags. In doing so, the retailer brings interactive engagement from behind the screen into an in-person retail experience. Encouraging those visiting the store to Tweet and Instagram their experiences while shopping help promote the creation of more user-generated content as well as amplifying the brand message.