Social media allows retail brands to communicate with their customers in real-time in a more direct and meaningful way. Instead of calling in, walking in-store, or emailing their favorite brands, customers can now reach out directly using social media, streamlining communication.
What is the Impact of Social Media on The Retail Industry?
For retail brands, social media is a great tool to promote their products and increase both online and in-store sales, as well as reach potential new customers and expand brand awareness. Social media can positively impact retail brands that take the time to build a strong social media marketing strategy by offering a lot of benefits, allowing them to:
- Increase sales
- Generate word-of-mouth marketing
- Build loyalty among customers
- Create an engaging online community
- Connect with advocates and influencers
- Promote products and events
- Increase returning customer base
Social Media Tools Used in Retail
Retail businesses use social media tools to keep in touch with customers, drive sales, and promote their products. Finding the right platforms for your brand’s needs is key to catching all the comments, mentions, and data your brand receives daily on social media and responding and reacting in real-time.
Social media management tools
The best social media management tool platforms allow your brand to control all aspects of your social media presence in one application. You should be able to track your social media retail effort from conversations and comments to mentions and engagement opportunities.
Social listening tools
Social listening tools allow you to learn more about your customers, as well as analyze, detect, identify, and categorize user sentiments about your brand and products. These tools analyze social media channels but also capture data across new sites, online publications, review sites, and more. The right social listening platform will help your brand improve and adjust according to your customer feedback.
Social media advertising tools
Social media advertising tools will help your brand optimize its retail social media marketing strategy with compelling targeting campaigns and paid ads, as well as enticing calls-to-action and eye-catching messages.
Social media analytics tools
Analytics tools allow your business to create performance reports to track your progress according to your social media retail marketing strategy. These tools can help you track the metrics that fit your brand goals, such as engagement rate, audience growth, impressions, reach, referral, time spent on page, and even click-through rate.
Social media content creation tools
Content creation tools enable you to create content that your customers find valuable, interesting, and easy to understand and read, ranging from short-form content and how-to content to trends to keep customers engaged with your brand.
Social media influencer management tools
Collaborations with influencers are a great way to win customer loyalty and reach new customers by exposing your products to the right audience while improving your brand perception. Social media influencer management tools can help you identify the right influencers for your brand and nurture collaborative opportunities.
Strategies for Using Social Media in Retail to Drive More Sales
New and well-established retail brands can benefit from creating a strong retail marketing strategy that will help build a valuable social media presence. Here are our top 6 strategies to propel your brand to the next social media level.
Establish relationships with your customers
Customers are the heart of every business, as without them it would be quite the challenge to drive sales. The feeling of in-store interactions can be replicated online via social media. Brands should cultivate a community of happy customers by engaging meaningfully, efficiently, and in real-time to offer high-quality customer service.
Positive online reviews are key to generating business as most people now seek social proof on social media before making a purchase. User-generated content allows brands to leverage customer reviews and testimonials to their advantage, as potential customers are more likely to be compelled to make a purchase if your brand already has happy customers sharing their positive experiences.
Interactive social media posts
Customers like to share their experiences and opinions with their favorite brands and other users. Interactive posts are a great opportunity to create more engagement by asking customers what they think about your brand and products, what they want to see, and what their favorite items are at the moment.
Livestream shopping, or live shopping, allows brands to promote products through live social media video with a host, usually an influencer. Similar to a modern-day TV shopping channel, real-time promotion of retail products allows consumers to connect with the brand and see the products directly.
Gather feedback from your customers
Listening to customers’ feedback is key to knowing what they think about your brand and products, as well as what they need and expect from your brand. Feedback allows your brand to improve and make adjustments as you go to stay in sync with customer needs.
Social listening allows your brand to monitor all your social media platforms, branded and product hashtags, as well as competitors to identify when, how, and where people talk about your brand online.
Examples of Social Media Campaigns Used in Retail
Many brands have shown us how well social media campaigns can be used in retail to promote their products. Here are some takeaway examples of social media campaigns that can be applied to your brand:
- Encouraging user-generated content to engage your audience
- Supporting a good cause that is meaningful to your customer and your industry
- Developing your brand voice to stand out, be unique from your competitors, and help your customers easily identify your brand among others
- Creating entertaining and interactive content
Trends for The Retail Industry in 2023
Trends are a great way for businesses to experiment as well as connect with customers’ evolving needs and interests. Social media trends in 2023 are changing the industry and customers’ experiences for the better, from including AI and blockchain to sustainability and ethical practices.
Increased use of AI and automation
The online retail shopping experience is changing to include chatbots, virtual assistants, and automation systems to streamline retail customer service operations. This trend offers users more realistic conversational tools to interact with their favorite brand in real-time and answer most of their queries.
Omnichannel retail considers customers’ needs by engaging them where they are, spreading a brand’s social media presence and reach across all available digital and physical platforms. Benefits for brands include more availability and traffic, as well as helping drive sales and deliver superior customer services for an optimized online shopping experience.
Sustainability and ethical practices
More and more customers are now conscious of sustainability and ethical practices, and expect their favorite brands to do the same. Customers are looking for transparent retail brands offering clean options, environmentally friendly materials, and high-quality products that offer long-term value as they are made to last.
Advancements in AR and VR technology
Virtual reality (VR) offers an immersive experience with a computer-generated real-like environment, while augmented reality (AR) offers an interactive experience that enhances real-world environments. Both those innovative technologies can be used in the retail industry to enhance customer experience and act as a visual tester as customers can now try products beforehand. AR and VR technology can help customers make decisions regarding a specific product and boost their trust in the business which leads to an increase in ROI.
Adoption of blockchain technology
Blockchain helps retail brands to enhance efficiency, transparency, traceability, and safety. This technology uses tracking systems that offer visibility through all the steps of the supply chain, helping retailers to combat counterfeiting by enabling them to identify proof of origin for every product.
Build a Social Media Strategy with ICUC
The use of social media in the retail industry allows retailers to connect and exchange with customers to improve and complete their overall online and in-store shopping experience. The right retail solution will help your brand use social media to generate authentic user-generated content, advertisement, and influencer marketing to drive engagement and sales.
Book a meeting with us to learn more about how our 24/7 team experts can help your retail brand use social media to reach its full potential.