Opinion

Social shopping: let’s be friends

Dalziel and Pow blog featuring posts on new design, retail and branding inspiring the Dalziel and Pow team.

Alastair kean headshot
By Alastair Kean
Posted 27. 07. 2012
OPINION_SocialShopping_02
OPINION_SocialShopping_02

People are social beasts. Everything we do is influenced in some way by our relationships, so it’s no surprise that social media is now directly affecting retail. In this age of ‘f-commerce’, how should we react to changing shopper behaviour? Are there some basic rules to follow?

First, make sure that you integrate social media into your strategy and create socially integrated experiences. Your customer is ‘enabled’ ­– sharing and broadcasting to the world ­– so be part of that dialogue in and around their shopping experience.

Reassess your relationship with your customers. We should be thinking of them as ‘friends’. Friends trust each other and share their thoughts, interests and secrets. Look to build this rapport with your new friend ensuring, as with any conversation, that your tone is right.

OPINION_SocialShopping_01

In this new dialogue we must build trust, it’s the most critical factor in any friendship or transaction. We trust our friends, but today people are casting the net wider – think how often we use TripAdvisor. We look for and share their opinions and are more likely to believe them, good and bad. In gaining trust we need to be more transparent and honest.

Encourage the conversation with your customer. Integrating social media is vital but make sure you have the right tools, whatever they might be. Free Wi-Fi in store is the minimum; think about all the most appropriate and integrated digital platforms to enable the relationship.

One new key area is the development of online communities, especially ‘scrapbooking’ platforms, which let people visually share their likes, thoughts and opinions. Be part of that. Brands such as Nuji allow you to curate products and create digital scrapbooks… Pinterest, with 11.7m weekly views, is another powerful social community tool, and there are many more. Gather this community around your brand and the opportunities can be endless.

Implemented well, social media leads to what we really want to achieve – endorsement, let’s call it ‘brand advocacy’. Your customer is a friend for life, loyal and interested in what you are doing, saying… and selling!

In summary:

Think ‘social’
Gain friends
Build trust
Provide the tools
Create a community
Gain brand advocacy

Related Stories

arrow-down icon arrow-left icon arrow-right icon back icon button-box_2_blocks icon button-box_3_blocks-c icon button-box_3_blocks-d icon button-box_3_blocks-stacked icon button-box_3_blocks icon button-box_4_blocks icon button-box_5_blocks-alt icon button-box_5_blocks icon caret-down icon close icon d-p icon dot icon dots-column icon dots-nine-01 icon dots-trio icon facebook icon fast-forward icon forward icon hamburger-cross icon hamburger icon instagram icon letter icon link icon linkedin icon mail icon pattern-dots-white icon pattern-dots icon pattern-smile-white icon pattern-smile icon pattern-wave-white icon pattern-wave icon pattern-zig-white icon pattern-zig icon pause-button icon pink-waves icon play-button icon rewind icon search icon smile-column icon smile-trio icon twitter icon wave-column icon waves-citrine-line icon waves-citrine-square icon waves-rect icon waves icon youtube icon zig-line-pink icon zig-line icon zig-square icon