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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.

Trend Watch: Will Twitter Commerce Be The ‘Next Big Thing’ In Retail?

There has been mass speculation regarding Twitter’s apparent foray into commerce spearheaded by images of a rumored Twitter Commerce service posted on curated consumer goods catalog Fancy.com. It is unknown whether the screenshots — initially discovered by Re/code — were a mockup, prototype or accurate preview of what the service will look like. The screenshots outlined how the alleged Twitter Commerce service would work by integrating with a user’s Twitter account. Tweets published on the user’s Home or Discover feed will include a “Twitter Commerce” label, a description of the product being marketed and its price. Once the tweet was clicked, consumers would see an image of the product and a checkout button. If users clicked the button, they would be directed to a screen where they could enter their credit card information and billing address for delivery.

The Gold Medal Winner Is: Negative Publicity

Malfunctioning technology, brown water, poisoned dogs and sub-par hotels got more attention during the 2014 Winter Olympics than figure skating, downhill skiing, ice hockey and snowboarding. This probably doesn’t come as a surprise to most people. We love to dish on negative news, and social media has allowed us to spread the cheer instantaneously. Case in point: the parody Twitter account @SochiProblems — created to document the difficult living situations in the Sochi Olympic Village — had 70,000 more followers than the official @Sochi2014 Olympic Twitter account. Lesson learned? Businesses can turn rotten water into a golden river by tapping into the attraction of controversy and negativity. Many forward-thinking retailers already are ahead of the game when it comes to addressing bad reviews or complaints head-on, rather than head-in-the-sand. “It’s important for business owners to join the conversation with their customers by responding — diplomatically of course — to their reviews,” said Darnell Holloway, Senior Manager of Local Business Outreach at Yelp, in a Q&A with Retail TouchPoints.
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