Friday, October 28, 2011

Retailers Prepare For Christmas Shopping With Social Media has a great article out talking about the impact of social media on retailers during the busy holiday shopping season. They pose some interesting questions and scenarios that might alter the way we all do our Christmas shopping.

The time is long past when people get their sale notices from the local newspaper. Instead they are sharing and Tweeting the best locations for the hottest toy or the best prices on electronics. Most people have a smartphone with a bar code scanner app that shows them the best prices at stores in their area. They are also sharing their disappointing outings, which surely has some retailers shaking in their boots.

And how should retailers react to social media during the shopping season? How fast can they respond to errant Tweets or posts during Black Friday shopping, when most stores expects to post a profit? And should they respond to every instance or let some slip away? Do they need extra social media help just for the holidays?

These are great questions and I will be interested to see how the season works out for retailers and for shoppers....

Platforms like Twitter and Facebook not only give businesses a chance to promote their wares and build brand loyalty, they also offer an opportunity to respond directly to shoppers and pick up on consumer opinions and trends.
While the new social media landscape means a small customer-service misstep can mushroom into a big public-relations embarrassment on YouTube or Twitter, the ability to monitor consumer tastes also gives retailers access to a trove of information that may help them as they plan product lines and inventory.
“Social media is a great way for companies to interact and get to know their customers and consumers,” says Stephen Wyss, partner in the retail and consumer product practice of financial services consulting firm BDO USA. “It’s also a really fast and cost-effective way to gather information about new markets."

Click here to read more of the article.

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