5 Ways Social Media Has Impacted Retail

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Retail as we once knew it has changed beyond all recognition.

The introduction of online shopping has split brands into one of two camps: those who are thriving, and those who are failing. Those who are thriving have embraced the Internet; seeing online shopping and social media integration as an extension of their bricks-and-mortar offering. Those who are failing have simply neglected to evolve.

One of the most dramatic changes to the way we shop has been down to our increased use of social media.

Twitter and Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram have all transformed the way we see brands, browse products and give in to impulse purchases. We’re constantly exposed to our favourite retailers and their offering – whether at home, at work, or in the car – and the industry has evolved considerably to make room for this new wave of so-called ‘m-shoppers’.

Here, we take a look at 5 of the ways social media has impacted on retail:

1. Customer service

Twitter and other social networks have open brands up to their consumers in a more personal way than ever before. And while this can be a positive for many, it should also come with a word of warning.

Social media is instant; meaning that customers can quickly write rash comments on their accounts and fire them out into the World Wide Web. As a retailer on the receiving end of this kind of criticism, managing customer service can be tricky.

There are some brands that do this really well; ASOS for instance has a specific @ASOS_HereToHelp account where they handle customer queries round the clock. Others fail to respond adequately, resulting in a social media crisis of epic proportions.

2. Push towards ecommerce

Social media and ecommerce are natural companions.

For many retailers though, this takes attention away from their physical stores and is – by association – a negative. For some more conventional brands and retailers, this move towards an ecommerce generation is a negative.

And while it is true that social and ecommerce go hand-in-hand, it doesn’t have to be bad news for your brand. Many consumers will browse products online and then buy them in store, or vice versa. With these two parts of a retail offering working in harmony, brands should be utilising social media to drive sales across both elements.

3. Increased brand visibility

Social media increases brand visibility no end, opening them up to a brand new audience.

Free marketing and promotion is almost impossible to come by, so retailers should be jumping at the change to engage with their customers in a completely new way.  The drawback arrives when brands realise they need to invest a great deal of time into building up a following, and keeping them engaged.

For the brands that nail this though, social media can be a great way of boosting their retail presence and engaging with customers in a completely new way.

4. Reverse showrooming

Showrooming – the act of researching a product in a physical store and then buying it at a cheaper price online – has long since haunted retailers. With the help of social media though, retailers are actually encouraging these m-shoppers into store.

Brands are sharing images of their products on their social accounts, and directing customers in store. This act of ‘reverse showrooming’ is actually having a positive impact on retail through the building of customer relationships, brand engagement, and the driving of sales.

5. Sales and promotions

Another positive impact of social media on retail can be found within the running of sales and promotions. It is now easier than ever for brands to engage with their customers – and encourage them to spend – by running a social media promotion.

‘Retweet to win’ type campaigns are hugely popular; not only because they work, but because they also grow brand awareness. Retailers can drive customers to their online stores, or even provide offers that can only be redeemed in store.

Simple and effective, social media is a great way of raising awareness about a brand. For retailers, it is imperative they embrace the social media age. Those who failed to adapt are now missing from our high streets entirely.

Social media’s impact on retail doesn’t have to be negative; when a campaign is run correctly it can have huge rewards.

Clare Evans works for Green Room retail, one of Europe’s leading experiential creative practices, specializing in retail store design, visual merchandising and point-of-sale design. Speak to them today about transforming your store.

3 Ways Twitter Can Actually Benefit Your Small Business

twitter-small-businessWith more than 500 million registered users, Twitter is changing the way we communicate – and the way we do business. It makes sharing news, opinions and ideas infinitely easier, allowing users to update from virtually anywhere in the world in real time. But while most business owners have heard of Twitter and the power it holds (heck, who hasn’t?) many struggle with how to make it valuable to their own business model.

The truth is, Twitter can have different benefits for every business. Depending on what industry you’re in, what products and services you offer and what your customer base is like, the uses and advantages of Twitter as a business tool could vary greatly. There are three benefits, however, that stand true no matter what line of work you’re in.

Read more of this post

Social Media: Running Against the Clock

There are only so many hours in a day, and sometimes it seems as though we can never accomplish as much as we had hoped to. This is as true today as it ever was, and combined with the ever-increasing list of distractions we encounter on a day-to-day basis, it can seem as though in today’s world, we struggle to stay on-task more than ever before. Some people attribute this to the rise in popularity of the internet, and social sites like Facebook and Twitter. These can be extremely distracting, especially if part of your job is to monitor your company’s presence on such sites.

Distraction and lack of time are two of the most common reasons for a small business to not have a presence on a social site. However, because of social media’s influence on today’s society, the benefits of using these sites as a tool for your business far outweigh the risks. Read more of this post

Keeping the Social in Social Media

Social media networks like Facebook and Twitter have evolved tremendously in recent years. These online communities have developed from simple networking websites for high school and college students into essential business marketing tools. It is no longer a novelty to actively engage in social media as a business, and in fact those who remain unwilling to do so will soon find themselves woefully behind.

And yet this revelation is old news; social media has arrived and is here to stay. Even the largest companies, who previously saw no benefits from using these free services, are spending millions of dollars each year to develop the effective social media marketing strategies. To date, this process is still ongoing, and as more legitimate research and analysis is performed, the methods for maximization will be uncovered.

In the search for these methods, necessary pillars have already emerged. These pillars are non negotiable; for a company to find any success, from the largest multinational corporation to the smallest one man operation, these steps must be mastered. Read more of this post

So You Think You Know Twitter?

When it comes to social media, Twitter is easily one of the most potentially powerful networks available. It’s simple and easy to use, taking only moments to complete a tweet and get your message out there. It is also an open network that allows anyone to see anything they might be interested in.

The goal set before those who utilize Twitter to promote their brand is to generate visibility. How do you get more views? Generate interests? Twitter isn’t just about tweeting as much as possible; it’s about generating material that is applicable to your followers and of good quality. Read more of this post

The BragForce: How to Utilize Our Social Network to Grow Your Social Reach

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As a member of BizBrag, you have access to one of the most unique social networking opportunities on the web: the BragForce. The BragForce is BizBrag’s very own social network, and there is nothing else like it on any other social media management platform. Utilizing the BragForce can help you grow your social reach exponentially, while also helping you to find interesting, relevant content that you can share with your customers.

When you use your BragForce, you can connect with other businesses in your area, or complimentary businesses in your industry. The best connections to make in the BragForce are other businesses of similar size to yours, whose social connections are potential customers of yours. After you create your Braggits, you can then share them with the businesses in your BragForce, who can then post them to their social networks. This opens up your content to hundreds of potential new customers, who will then become familiar with your business, and can like your Facebook page, follow your Twitter account, and so on. Also, because they are finding your business from another company that they already know and trust, they will have a positive outlook on your business from the beginning. Read more of this post

The Speed of Social Media

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Information travels so quickly across the social web. Every second there are:

  • 580 Facebook status updates
  • 2,200 Tweets
  • and 24 minutes of video uploaded to YouTube

The reach of social media networks is spreading faster than any infectious disease to plague mankind. This said, using social outlets to your advantage can seem like trying to lasso the wind. We can help. BizBrag users increase their connections by 125 times on average!

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