Social shopping is the “hanging out with friends at the mall” of today’s digital generation, except that it’s not just teens and also tweens taking advantage of all the social features available. Customers of all ages have more choices than ever, as well as more opportunities to engage with brands they love, through QR contests, bar code scanners, and video outlet connections.
“Social shopping” itself is more of a catch-all term that can be anything from sharing outfit ideas on Pinterest to tweet links to coupon codes. With smartphone shopping and m-commerce the need to connect with shoppers beyond just having a responsive website design is greater than ever.
So how can online retailers take advantage of this growing trend?
Bridge the Gap Between Online and Offline Marketing
According to a new study from E consultancy and IBM Tealeaf, retail stores are missing the boat when it comes to connecting online shoppers with offline information. While most stores display their store locations and hours on their website, on retail products and services through social media.
Fortunately, 72% of retailers said they plan to increase investment in mobile strategies. That’s good news considering that less than a third of businesses profiled said they optimize content for local and mobile search, and only 18% allow customers to place an order online and then pick it up in the store.
In the same study, it was noted that, even when cross-channel marketing was used (such as using QR codes as part of an online promotion), the results ended up being ineffective, since the pages that would load for the promotion weren’t properly optimized for mobile devices or screens.
Some examples to get you started:
- Email a coupon code that gives an extra percentage off when used in the store.
- Give different incentives to users who browse online and buy in the store versus those who browse in the store and buy online.
- Leverage mobile marketing alongside in-store displays to provide flash sale notifications or limited-time coupons.
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