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Summer is here!!!

31 May

Great look for summer, Crop tops!

Best Practices

26 May

Right now Social Media is HUGE!! As technology continues to grow and more social media sites emerge, businesses need to have a presence to keep up with what their consumers want. Retail stores are no different as more and more customers are looking to shop online. So how do retail stores keep up with this trend and their customers happy? Here are some of the best practices for retail stores for blogging and or tweeting:

Keeping up:
If you go to a blog and you see the same post from 2 weeks ago you’re going to start looking somewhere else. Customers want something new. Keeping up with your blog and posting new and interesting information is what’s going to keep your customers coming back. It’s just like in a retail store, every couple of weeks the store changes their setup so when you come in it looks like a whole new store. Small changes from moving the clothes that were in the back of the store to the front and changing the mannequin clothes makes the store look like they got all new products in. Blogs should be updated constantly to keep customers coming back for more.
For Twitter, retail stores should be “tweeting” multiple times a day. For example, companies should be giving feedback to customers, sales information, and fashion advice. @Expresslife for instance the retail store Express sends out “tweets” on sales information daily and what’s hot right now.

Interacting:
For both blogging and Twitter retail stores need to be focusing on interacting with customers and not just sales. Social media has the power to get information about your organization out quickly. Interacting with your consumers also builds trust and an experience for them which they then post about. This information customers post about creates word of mouth out to other potential customers about the organization. There are a number of ways retail stores can interact with their customers such as: Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and blogs. “The two most important things businesses need to know when engaging customers through social media are what their audience’s value and what they’re looking for from the companies with which they interact. According to a recent study by the IBM Institute for Business Value, getting tangible value in the form of coupons and discounts was the top reason respondents interact with companies via social sites” (Peck, 2011). For example, having customers give feedback about their experience in which they’ll receive coupons for their responses is one way a number of companies interact with their customers.

Knowing your Audience:
Understanding who your store’s clientele is allows for you to know how to address them. Social media is about people so you need to know who is following your company and who you’re addressing. Are your customers younger, older, do they have kids? This is all information you need to know before implementing a strategy to go forward in social media. Are your posts going to be funny, serious, how are you going to engage and interact with your customers? Without people social media would be nowhere so knowing your stakeholders, inspiring and engaging with them.

Sticking to these best practices allows for retail stores to take advantage of getting their products and brand out there! Social media lets stores share new products, promote deals and give recommendations on their top products. Keeping up with social media by being consistent, engaging customers, and knowing your audience will help retail stores benefit and grow!

Peck, J. (2011). “Engage Customers with Social Media”: CRM Magazine. Retrieved from http://www.destinationcrm.com/Articles/Web-Exclusives/Viewpoints/Engage-Customers-With-Social-Media-75832.aspx

Challenges Retail Stores have going Social

19 May

Social media is everywhere and if you want your business to be successful, joining is necessary. For retail, if your store does not have a place on social media customers will go looking somewhere else. Retail stores have done a great job of implementing social media into their everyday lives however there can be some challenges and risks that can occur when bringing an organizations brand social.

clothes rack One example would be stock. For instance, I’m sure everyone has seen an item online that they love but really want to see it in person. You then decide to go into the store and view it and, it’s not there! It’s happened to me and I can tell you I was extremely frustrated. I mean, why not have something that is online in the store? This happens a lot within retail where some items are only online or some stores have items that other stores don’t. To help salvage this, items that are only available online should be labeled “Online exclusive” so customers understand that they will not be able to go see them in store.

Another example of a challenge retail stores have when putting their brand social is different promotions!
sale

This is the same as having different things in your store. You go into the store because you saw an item online that you loved for a price you loved even more and when you get there it’s not on sale! This is a challenge retail stores have because customers want to know that this is an online only sale so they get them items they’re looking for online and not travel into the store.

One of the biggest challenges is negative feedback from consumers. Retail stores get that one or two customers that had a bad experience and their pages are then loaded with negative feedback. Other customers then read this and have to decide if they’re still going to make that purchase or not but that one or two comments are having other customers question the purchase! This can be challenging because within social media people can post anything! Retail stores to avoid this need to be on top of their customer service responding to these inquiries and doing everything they can to make the customer happy. Sometimes there is nothing that can be done however retail stores need to be tracking and reading reviews from their consumers to make sure the same mistake doesn’t happen again.

One way retail stores can make sure their using social media properly is by using the Retail Social Media Model:

retail model

http://www.socialmediaexplorer.com/social-media-marketing/the-retail-social-media-model/

WOULD YOU POST ONLINE IF YOU HAD A NEGATIVE EXPERIENCE?

MOBILE APPS HAVE CHANGED HOW WE SHOP

11 May

href=”https://secretsfromafashionista.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/app.jpg”>APP

SCAN Shopping used to be an experience. You’d meet your friends at the mall, go in and out of stores trying on clothes and then maybe grab some lunch. However now with all this new technology you can buy almost everything right from your phone with mobile apps. I did just this the other day as I was looking for a dress. I had downloaded the ModCloth app to my phone (taking all of a minute), saw a dress I liked and then within a couple more minutes I had purchased it and received an email confirming my purchase. I mean, how easy was that! Retail stores on top of their websites have now added mobile apps making their customers shopping even easier and more convenient! These stores mobile apps consist of a number of things ranging from store locators, coupons, and a place to save your favorite pieces to view later. On top of all this you can also shop right from your mobile device with a few clicks. Almost all your favorite retail stores have their own app which you can download to your smart phone for free and begin shopping within minutes! In general there are even more apps that are used for a number of retail stores that can get you deals! Check out these apps:

– ShopSavvy: This app allows you to scan barcodes with your phone and compare prices across over 20,000 retail stores

– Shop Nearby: Shop every store with every product on the web from your IPhone. You can find what stores near you carry the products you’re looking for and compare prices.

– Coupon Sherpa: This app will help you find coupons while you’re on the go! You can bring up the barcode at the register and most stores will scan it and give you the discount!

In addition to fun and helpful apps that can compare prices and find you deals, retail stores now have mobile gift cards to make buying and giving gifts even easier!

mobile<a

Target for instance has mobile gift cards in which you choose the picture you want for the gift card and then sign into or up for an account with the store. These accounts help because it will keep track of the gift card and keep your receipts on file. You would then enter the recipients details, write a message for the person you’re sending it to, and then click “place order” in which you have the option to email it or text it right to the persons phone! These gift cards can be used right away online or in store!

There is not just one app that has changed how retailers use them but there are now a variety of ways to use apps to your advantage while shopping. Finding deals and items that you want has never been easier. Apps have made shoppers smarter and more savvy making retail stores step up keeping their own apps up on the latest trends and their customers intrigued. I personally can’t imagine not being able to shop off my phone now!

Do you shop with mobile apps?

RETAIL + SOCIAL MEDIA = SUCCESS

5 May

Retail has been forever changed with social media. Being able to shop online instead of going out to a store has created convenience for consumers as well as helped companies engage with their clientele. For instance, some stores offer surveys in exchange for a coupon helping them gather information on their customer’s experience (great way to get people to buy things!). In addition, within social media companies are communicating directly with their customers gathering feedback to help with sales. All of this combined with the variety of sites retail stores are using makes it extremely easy to get deals and shop without leaving the house. What’s even better, you can do most of this just by using your phone!

Mobile Apps

ShopStyleApp1

Almost all retailers now have a mobile app which you can download onto any smartphone. This was a great move because not only can stores provide an in-store experience they can also help the purchasing process and create a dynamic interaction with their customers. Most apps provide store locators, coupons, and an accessible way to shop if you’re on the go. Some retailers even offer a scanner built into their mobile app to help with prices (Who needs a salesperson now). Stores with a mobile app that offer this include: Toys R Us, Express, Best Buy, and Home Depot. Some stores have even gone above and beyond and put together a catalog to view the latest trends right from your phone. Gap has a StyleMixer where you can build your own looks and make shopping lists that you can save and view later when you want to purchase the items.

Twitter

tweet 2 Retailers use Twitter to get the latest and best deals out to their consumers quickly. Tweeting coupons and deals gets people out to the store or online looking at their promotions. Express is one retailer which uses Twitter on a regular basis getting the word out such as their “Deal of the Day”. You can also receive coupons for tweeting about the store and showing it to the cashiers. In addition, if you’re on Twitter you can follow all your favorite stores and keep up on all the latest deals and trends!

Pinterest

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Pinterest is a newer social media site however a variety of retailers are using it to post pictures of their latest fashions and how to wear and or use them. Retailers are taking advantage of building boards in which people are “repining” bringing more attention to the store. This creates a visual for people to view shoppable products and cool images. Sephora is one store which is taking full advantage of what the site has to offer. They had noticed a trend of people “pinning” their products and bringing them in-store or then buying them online by finding them on Pinterest. They soon created a board and now with over 140,000 followers and 2,500 pins they now interact and understand what their customers want. To read more, here is their case study: http://business.pinterest.com/case-study-sephora/\

Tell me how you shop!

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mint.jpg

4 May

OBSESSED WITH MINT FOR SPRING!

SOCIAL MEDIA TOOLS, WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?

28 Apr

Today there are so many social media outlets to choose from, how do you determine which ones you are going to use? Preference I would say because two of the largest social media sites, Facebook and Twitter are similar as you can upload posts and pictures and interact with others, so what makes them different? Here’s a little background:
fb   FACEBOOK
Facebook first began as a place where college students could interact with one another. A 19yr old Harvard student who decided to put together a site with his friends exclusively for Harvard students which soon expanded to other universities and then to the world (I’m sure we’ve all seen The Social Network). Facebook has grown into a worldwide phenomenon where people can interact with one another in posts, through pictures, playing games, Facebook chat among other things. Facebook states their mission is to make the world more open and connected.

bird  TWITTER

Twitter came about a few years later, 2006 to be exact in which people could relay real time information in short pieces now known as “Tweets”. Also created by a college student, Twitter was introduced as an idea to communicate within small groups. Popularity spiked in 2007 @ The South by SouthWest Interactive Conference where Twitter did major marketing control and from there, the rest is history. Twiiter sees spikes in their “Tweets” during major events such as major sports events and breaking news. However don’t let this fool you, people post about all types of things and pictures on a daily basis. You can “Tweet”, post pictures and videos. Twitter is a real-time information network that connects you to the latest stories, ideas, opinions, and news about what you’re interested in.

SO WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?
Both sites are about connecting people but in different ways. For instance, Facebook is more about a social interaction with people. Catching up with old friends, family members and keeping in touch. There can be ongoing conversations which can last for hours and or days. People plan events and invite each other through Facebook. For example, my class reunion was posted as an event on Facebook where the conversation went on for months about where, what, when and all the info. In addition, Facebook has no limitation on how long their posts are.
Twitter on the other hand is a short message which can only be 140 characters about real-time conversations and following people that are important or of interest. Twitter is more about the here and now and keeping people up to date on topics instead of having a connecting relationship. This is more about getting a message out there.

People and businesses benefit from both these sites because you can “Tweet” important information on Twitter to get it out there in real-time and then post in more detail on your Facebook page.

 

WHO DO YOU PREFER, FACEBOOK OR TWITTER?