Social means so much more than a Facebook page or a Tweet these days. Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest — to name a few — are making their mark on the retail marketplace. But are they short-term trends or do they have the staying power to become long-term solutions? What are the best approaches for retailers? What does the future hold? These and other key questions are asked and answered in this section.

Shop Direct Uses Social Proof To Increase Conversions 2.7%

Data-driven ad and marketing platform Jivox has partnered with Taggstar to provide its e-Commerce customers with more personalized ad campaigns. The partnership will allow Jivox e-Commerce customers to use the Taggstar Social Proof Engine to pull real-time data on popular products and trends, based on shoppers’ online browsing history.

Social proof is defined as outside reinforcement for one’s actions.  In the e-Commerce world, social proof may include product reviews, customer ratings, top-trending items and product scarcity.


Tailored Brands or Men’s Wearhouse: Benefits And Pitfalls Of New Brand Names

Changing your brand name can be a risky move. Customers don’t always react well to the change, resulting in more harm than good. There are factors such as mergers, repositioning and bad publicity, that don’t give a company another viable choice. But that doesn’t mean the change will end on a positive note. 

According to a study by U.K. research firm Millward Brown, “Many brands see an immediate 5% to 20% decline in sales, and can take years to restore levels, while others are negatively affected only in the short term.”


Can Retailers Keep Pace With Millennial Consumers?

Retailers know they have to adapt marketing and advertising messages to target each new generation of shoppers. But the evolution of technology over the past 20 years has forced merchants to speed up their understanding of today's more technologically advanced Millennials.

The Millennial generation has grown up with the technology revolution and is now gaining more buying power, motivating retailers to tap into more content-based campaigns that are focused on a personalized customer experience.


Use Influencer Marketing To Connect Your Brand With Shoppers

Is there a marketing tactic that generates more sales than traditional paid advertising? Yes! Influencer marketing may be the answer for many brands. According to a study by McKinsey, marketing-induced consumer-to-consumer word of mouth generates more than twice the sales of paid advertising.

Influencer marketing is defined as “engagement with people who are influential online to share brand messaging with audiences in the form of sponsored content.” While the concept of influencer marketing is not entirely new, it is growing more viable every day with the addition of social platforms like Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr. The approach is generally word-of-mouth advertising using brand advocates, and it can greatly increase marketing ROI. 


TouchSocial Fosters Personalized Social Media Engagement Between Brands And Consumers

Mobile chat solution provider TouchCommerce has introduced the TouchSocial personalized engagement experience, enabling shoppers to seamlessly connect with a customer service expert or take advantage of a personalized self-service option via social media.

Retailers can utilize the TouchSocial platform to:

  • Enable consumer sentiment analysis;

  • Allow social media marketers to escalate a conversation to the brand’s customer care department;

  • Resolve issues outside of the social network immediately and in the right context; and

  • Boost customer satisfaction rate and net promoter scores (NPS).


1:1 With Williams-Sonoma, Inc. Talent VP

1patticlaus2Recently I had the opportunity to speak with Patti Clauss, Vice President, Global Talent Acquisition, for Williams-Sonoma, Inc. (WSI). She shared her inspiration, insights and best practices for all organizations looking to hire and retain great employees. Clauss has been with the company for more than 13 years and has her hands in every part of the organization, working to be up-to-speed on the goals and needs of each role she seeks to fill.

What are the key challenges you grapple with in your position as VP of Global Talent Acquisition?

The biggest challenges for me are around identifying talent with the drive, stamina, and aptitude to keep up with the rapidly evolving retail landscape of our culture. As quick as retail moves, we need people who are agile.


Melissa & Doug, Moleskine Stand Out Among Retailers Combining Content And Commerce

As consumers browse online, they are inundated with retail brand information at nearly every point of their user experience. Whether through an ad, a social network brand page, a video or a blog, consumers now view many, many pieces of content designed to bring them to a purchase. With this in mind, retailers have to not only stress the importance of developing content that stands out, but also of blending it effectively with their overall commerce strategy.

Online retailers that are building out these strategies most consistently include Melissa & Doug, Moleskine and Levenger, according to The U.S. Retail Website Benchmarking Study from Episerver.


Yuno Shopping Site Gives Cash For Product Recommendations

The recently launched shopping site Yuno pays cold, hard cash for something many people already do for free: recommend products to the friends that populate their social networks. Users that recommend one of the 70 million fashion, lifestyle, technology or sports products featured on the site earn cash rewards when someone in their network buys the item.

The site launched in September with 200 users and has "organically grown through friends and family to 2,000 users," said Founder André Walters, a sports attorney turned tech entrepreneur. Yuno has partnered with more than 200 national retailers, including Macy's, Best Buy, Foot Locker and Saks Fifth Avenue.


Retail Ad Messages Reveal 'Cyber Monday' Concept Running Out Of Juice

Cyber Monday's status as the holiday shopping day with truly significant digital sales may be going the way of MySpace and AOL. Ad messages from leading retailers specifically mentioning Cyber Monday deals were considerably fewer this year compared to 2014. Six major retailers (Home Depot, Kmart, Lowe's, Old Navy, Sears and Walmart) dropped Cyber Monday messaging altogether.

While these changes may be due in part to consumer weariness with these promotional events, they are also likely linked to changes in how people are shopping, according to a report by Jon Swallen, CRO of Kantar Media.


Kohl’s, Walgreens, Century 21 Give Back On #GivingTuesday As Shopping Takes A Breather

As the dust settles from the heavy spending throughout Thanksgiving Weekend, shoppers now have a little bit of time to relax. During this downtime, consumers have an opportunity to spread the holiday spirit and give back to the community.

For the fourth year in a row, the United Nations Foundation and the 92nd Street Y are promoting Giving Tuesday across social media channels, and numerous retailers including Kohl’s, JCPenney, Century21, Rue La La and Walgreens are taking part in the festivities.


Burberry And Google Stitch Shoppers Into Christmas Commercial

Ordinary shoppers at the Burberry flagship store on Regent Street in London can now be woven into the retailer's Christmas commercial, alongside stars like Elton John, James Corden, Naomi Campbell and Julie Walters. Burberry has partnered with Google to create The Burberry Booth, where customers are captured jumping in the style of the ad honoring the 15th anniversary of the film and stage musical Billy Elliot.

The footage is then placed within the film, using real-time video stitching technology, to create a 15-second personalized edit of the commercial. Once that has been created, The Burberry Booth sends customers a shareable copy via YouTube, Twitter or email.


Facebook Timeline Sweepstakes: Easy Ways to Increase Followers and Engagement for Your Brand

1Brian McNeil Smith EasypromosAs a retailer, you've probably read or heard enough about social media to have launched a Facebook page. In fact, for some, a Facebook page comes before a website or even a blog. And like most, after putting some time into a nice picture and description of your business, you invited your friends and family and sat back, waiting anxiously for the Followers to roll in.

If you build it, they will come, right? To an extent, yes. Friends and family will normally do you the service of the follow, and if you are lucky, send your business' profile to their networks and encourage their friends to follow you as a favor. But as many retailers new to Facebook quickly find out, building a following of loyal, engaged and, importantly, purchasing followers takes much more than just having a page.


Will Small Business Saturday 2015 Surpass Last Year's Bonanza?

With all the hype for Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals already kicking off the holiday season, it’s easy for small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) to get lost in the shuffle of the promotional chaos. However, the recent advent of Small Business Saturday has given these retailers a promotional platform of their own.

Consumers spent a reported $14.3 billion purchasing gifts at independent retail stores on Small Business Saturday in 2014, according to American Express. The credit card provider initially launched the concept of Small Business Saturday in 2010 to encourage consumers to spend money at their local businesses, instead of doing their typical shopping at major retailers.

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