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.

Why Fashion Month 2014 Marked A Shift In Luxury Marketing

The madness surrounding Fashion Month 2014 has calmed. But that doesn’t mean fashion pundits and marketing gurus have stopped chatting about the new wave of marketing sparked by this year’s festivities. New York Fashion Week (NYFW) especially generated buzz because the event showed a more personal and intimate side, thanks to the powers of social media and mobility. More designers, fashion editors and bloggers were turning to Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to take “selfies,” photos and videos of live runway shows. As a result, everyday consumers had VIP access to what was once considered one of the most exclusive events of the year. Social media has changed the ways consumers relate to fashion and has made the luxury space more accessible than ever, according to Apu Gupta, CEO of Curalate. NYFW is testament to the fact that “you can still build a high fashion brand and still make it approachable. We want to know more about these brands other than the carefully manicured personas they put out there. There’s a desire to really see behind the scenes and see the brands' larger personalities. It’s almost the humanization of luxury brands.”

Sephora Unveils New Social Shopping Experience

Omnichannel beauty retailer Sephora has been commended for its focus on creating highly social and compelling experiences online. Building on the success of its Beauty Talk platform — which enables shoppers to ask each other questions about cosmetics and other beauty products — Sephora has unveiled a new social shopping…

Optimove Integrates With Facebook To Create Custom Audience Campaigns

Optimove, a multichannel campaign solution provider, announced that it will integrate with Facebook Custom Audiences (FCAs) during the eTail West 2014 conference in San Antonio, Tex. The company’s platform already incorporates email, text messaging, push notifications, on-site banners and call centers. FCAs enable advertisers to target their Facebook ads and…

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 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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