You’ve probably heard talk of tech and social media ‘disrupting’ the retail experience. That may sound like a scrappy street fight between digital and brick and mortar, but it actually refers to emerging trends and new ways to win over customers.
We’re flagging five of the most popular social media trends disrupting retail, so that you can get more social savvy and impress your customers.
1. Encourage social shopping
This phrase refers to purchases made through social media channels—two of your customer’s favourite pastimes, together at last.
Platforms like Facebook and Instagram have evolved, adding things like purchase buttons and shopping features that allow customers to buy without leaving their feeds. Picture this: your customer is searching for #healthandbeauty on Instagram and finds your post featuring a new line of skin care products. With a couple of quick taps, they’ve purchased your product and resumed their Instagram browsing without ever having left the platform. It’s quick, easy and mutually beneficial.
2. It’s okay to eavesdrop
When it comes to your business, you want to know what people are saying about you and the things you sell. We suggest that you flex your social listening skills to track, and participate in conversations that matter to you. You can search the web yourself, or use a social listening tool to help you track, analyze and respond to conversations about your business. Platforms like Hootsuite and Salesforce Social Studio offer this type of service—a real time-saver for small business owners.
3. Strike up a convo with Instagram Stories
Born from Snapchat and arguably perfected by Instagram, disappearing content is incredibly popular. On average, 1 in 5 Instagram Stories (content available for 24 hours) posted by brands receives at least one direct message (DM) in response1. That’s impressive! Customers love the ability to connect without having to post publicly, and this gives brands a chance to interact with their customers directly. So, if you’ve posted a story showing off your new line of products and a customer sends you a DM with a question, be sure to respond ASAP—they’re expecting a quick (uncanned) response.
4. Get it on video
Want to make a bigger impression and engage more potential customers? Then you need to post more videos. Create a fun tutorial on your smartphone or show off a new store reno in a professionally produced video. Whatever your approach, you’ll see greater engagement, which can lead to more sales. And, while it may sound like an unwanted infection, viral videos are a good thing—it means that your content has caught on quickly and is spreading to a larger audience of potential customers.
5. Channel your inner omni-channel shopper
Your customers don’t just shop on social media platforms, they browse in-store, on the web and through mobile apps. Do your social media channels support this customer behaviour? Try shopping from their perspective—what are they looking for and where/when do they need it? Maybe they’re in search of organic produce but can’t make it to your store each week. Why not advertise home delivery or offer to have their order picked, packed and ready for pick-up on a day and time that works with their schedule? Be sure that the transition from your online to in-store experience is a smooth one—your customers will thank you.
1 Digimind Blog ‘The 5 Most Disruptive Retail Marketing Trends in 2018 and Beyond’