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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.

How Retailers Can Benefit From Social Proof

When looking for a new outfit or wanting the best local pizza in a new city, some look at what Kylie Jenner was wearing in her latest Instagram post or check the top-rated restaurant on Yelp. This is due to the psychological phenomenon known as “social proof,” which refers to consumers tending to believe the actions of others to show the best course of action. Faced with an overwhelming amount of options, shoppers often look to others’ experiences to make their purchase decisions easier and better. The concept of social proof also shows why customer reviews and endorsements are so crucial for a brand’s ongoing success. This phenomenon is frequently used on web sites, but has recently been put into practice by Amazon’s brick-and-mortar location in Manhattan, which only includes top sellers rated four stars and above and also features actual customer reviews next to products.

Philanthropy, Local Connections Create Event Marketing Success For Kendra Scott

Experiential retail has become a popular buzzword in the industry, as retailers seek to deliver memorable experiences in stores, both to build relationships with customers and grow sales. For brands like jewelry retailer Kendra Scott, there’s no better way to do that than with in-store events. At each of its 94 stores, the brand hosts 12 to 20 events per month. During a pre-NRF 2019 event hosted by the jewelry brand alongside event marketing solution provider Splash, Kendra Scott Director of Retail Marketing Amy Young sat down for a fireside chat with Splash Co-Founder and CEO Ben Hindman to discuss the brand’s unique event strategies and what drives their success. Q: How do you leverage events as part of Kendra Scott’s go-to-market strategy? Amy Young: Events are a huge revenue driver for us. We task our stores with hosting an insane number of events on a weekly basis, and a lot of times we have our influencer events, local media events and shopping parties. We have what we call Kendra Gives Back (KGB), which is where we tap into the local community — local charities and local causes — and host events where a percentage of proceeds from that event…

Saks Fifth Avenue Targets Facebook Shoppers With Holiday Gift Guide Chatbot

For the second year in a row, Saks Fifth Avenue launched a Holiday Gift Guide chatbot on Facebook Messenger. The Saks team brought back the feature after last year’s success — 55% of users who took the quiz clicked back to the retailer’s e-Commerce site, with many of them purchasing the gifts that were suggested by the AI-powered guide. “We want to reach customers wherever they are and be a resource,” said Emily Essner, SVP of Marketing and Digital at Saks Fifth Avenue in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “1.2 billion people actively use Messenger to communicate, so it's a no-brainer to have an active presence. We decided to work with Headliner Labs to build a fluid, conversational recommendation experience in Messenger because it resonates with customers and translates into clickthrough traffic back to Saks.”

PupSocks Boosts Paid Social Advertising Revenue 12% With Predictive AI

PupSocks gives pet owners the chance to show how much they love their pets by custom-printing their faces on socks, mugs, tote bags and more. With such a visually oriented product, the one-year-old online retailer’s growth depends on capturing an audience that loves showing off their pets on social platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Aiming both to accelerate its growth via paid social advertising and better measure its campaigns’ success on the two social platforms, PupSocks implemented the Pattern89 AI software platform. In the first 10 days of working with Pattern89, PupSocks saw: Revenue from paid social ads increase 12%; Return on ad spend (ROAS) improve 15%; and Reinvigorated underperforming ad sets in smaller campaigns, increasing their ROAS (Return on Ad Spend) 31%.

5 Last-Minute Strategies To Drive Holiday Sales On Facebook And Instagram

The holidays are fast approaching. Accounting for the majority of annual retail sales, this time of year prompts most organizations to start preparations well in advance. Deloitte is forecasting that holiday sales could grow by 5.6% this year to more than $1.1 trillion – bringing even more opportunity for brands to boost revenue.

The Eyes Have It: Visually Rich ‘Shoppable’ Instagram Content Tops Social Commerce Trends

Social media’s impact on retail has been well-documented: as many as 76% of consumers have purchased a product they saw in a brand's social media post, according to Curalate. More than half of these purchases are ultimately made online — 11% of shoppers made the purchase immediately, while 44% later purchased the item online. But not all social channels offer the same audience, reach or impact. It’s increasingly clear that the most visually oriented platforms are leading the charge to generate traffic, brand awareness and more sales. Retailers are being presented with valuable opportunities to deliver exclusive promotions on Instagram and Facebook, and Instagram may be the true wild card here — traffic on the platform is projected to grow 3X faster than overall social traffic, according to Salesforce.

Etsy, Target Top Halloween-Related Social Chatter

  • Published in News Briefs
With Halloween lurking creepily around the corner, retailers are making last-minute preparations to capture their share of a projected $9 billion in consumer spending. But social media conversations may provide omens about which retailers will generate the most revenue throughout the shopping day. The retailers attracting the most social engagement…
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Exclusive CEO Q&A: How Nike Wins The Branding Game

Nike’s hiring of controversial quarterback-turned-activist Colin Kaepernick was a gamble, but it’s one that paid off handsomely. The company sold out 61% more merchandise in a 10-day period following the Kaepernick ad’s initial appearance, and the company got a 31% online sales bump. But if other brands want to emulate Nike’s success by embracing hot-button issues, they will need to carefully consider their own brand’s public profile before taking the plunge, according to branding expert Erich Joachimsthaler. “Nike is a very special brand, one that stands for this level of irreverence, as well as athleticism, winning, authenticity and inspiration” said Joachimsthaler, CEO of global brand strategy firm Vivaldi. “Nike is fearless, and taking a stand has become part of their DNA.”

What Impact Has Social Media Had On The Fashion Industry?

We’re all aware that social media is taking over to some extent. And, we’re becoming more influenced by what we see online than ever before — especially when it comes to fashion. It was once popular for fashion to be presented to us through glossy magazines and catwalk shows. Through these controlled channels, fashion was kept exclusive, determined by designers and magazine editors. Fast-forward to 2018 and it’s a very different story.

Moltin Offers API For Digital Displays, Social Shopping

Moltin, an e-Commerce solution provider, has introduced an API designed to enable retailers to deliver holistic experiences to consumers when they interact with the brand, whether through interactive digital displays, social media, smart television, video games or any other touch point.

Sephora, Nike Leverage AR Effects Via Facebook Messenger

Four brands are presently taking a new approach to augmented reality (AR) experiences, integrating them with the Facebook Messenger messaging app. In May, Facebook revealed that it had launched AR experiences on its Messenger platform in closed beta for retailers such as Nike and Sephora, as well as ASUS and Kia. With these experiences, retailers and brands can leverage messaging to help shoppers visualize a product and get instant feedback about purchases, customizations and more — without ever needing to set foot in a store.  The future of Facebook Messenger as a means of communicating with retail consumers looks bright. As of May 1, there were more than 300,000 active bots on Messenger, and more than 8 billion messages are exchanged between people and businesses each month — a number that is 4X the number of messages exchanged just since last year.

Las Vegas Shopping Complex Debuts Chatbot With Personality

Visitors to the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas now can interact with an AI-powered shopping guide through Facebook Messenger whenever they need better information to enhance their shopper journey. The chatbot, “Jules,” showcases a witty and sassy personality designed to reflect the mall’s audience of chic and lively shoppers. Jules is available 24/7 to address a variety of guest inquiries that pertain to the center’s stores, restaurants and shows, and can provide specific answers based on where users are in the 475,000-square-foot mall.

Exclusive Q&A: How zulily Grew Its Customer Base 24%

Data and hard facts are important in marketing, but there are also elements of “art” involved, according to Kevin Saliba, SVP of Marketing at zulily. The retailer seems to have found the right mix of science and art: zulily has made significant strides to widen its base and foster more recurring buyers over the last 18 months. Since Saliba took over the position in January 2017, zulily has increased its customer base 24% to 6.1 million active customers, while growing its private label credit card membership to 160,000 accounts. In a Q&A with Retail TouchPoints, Saliba, who also was recently named to the Wine.com Board of Directors, explains: The importance of balancing customer acquisition and retention strategies; How being acquired by QVC in 2015 has helped the retailer engage consumers through Facebook Live product videos; Why native advertising is benefitting both its brands and consumers; and How zulily-branded credit cards foster customer loyalty.
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