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Report finds many retailers overlook the potential of social media

A new report by Verdict has revealed that many retailers are overlooking the potential of transforming their online stores into entertainment destinations by integrating social media.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Report finds many retailers overlook the potential of social media

The analyst said that although e-commerce and social media are regarded as separate entities by most retailers, those that recognised the potential of combining the two would reap the rewards.

Charlotte Woods, analyst at Verdict, said: “Most retailers have recognised the value of social media, but very few have realised its potential to benefit their online stores. By viewing and running the two operations separately, retailers simply aren’t realising the full power of social media. Retailers have the ability to attract increased levels of traffic to their online stores by using social media to create entertainment destinations which consumers can get excited about. As a result, retailers have the ability to create retail theatre online.”

The research highlighted how effective social media could be for online stores in helping to shape brand identity. Verdict highlighted one retailer in particular that exemplified the extent to which retailers could use social media to turn their online stores into entertainment destinations.  Verdict said that RVCA, the US clothing company, used social media on its website to enforce a lifestyle that consumers could identify with. As a result, customers spent longer on the site,  brand engagement increased, and customers were more likely to purchase. 

Ms Woods continued: “Retailers across all sectors should not underestimate the potential of creating online retail channels dedicated primarily to entertainment. The concept would work particularly well for entertainment retailers, which could use interviews with authors and actors in the content of their homepage."

She added: “This sort of strategy will become increasingly important as competition continues to grow. Retailers will therefore have to work harder to engage customers, and integrating social media with their online stores could prove lucrative to those that get on the front foot.”

The Retail Bulletin's Mobile Summit, sponsored by DigiPos is taking place at the Cavendish Conference Centre, London, September 27th 2011. The theme of the Summit is 'Driving profit, market share and customer engagement through cost-effective mobile strategies' and already has an impressive speaker line-up. For more information, click here.

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