Social trends

Social trends

Social Trends for retailers. Do you want to know which social trends are shaping the retail industry? Based on interviews with well-known experts and reports, we have written up a review of what is exactly going on.

Social trends
Social media continues to grow beyond campaigns with big ideas from something that used to be managed by small social media teams.

It is now seen as a necessary skill that comes with great responsibility, and as a result a lot of companies have decided that there is a requirement to invest in education and training for their staff, to help improve their skills.

Whilst it is true that global and national campaigns increase exposure, a recent study found that social proof is often what makes people convert. This is especially true if the content that is being shared with us comes from people we trust and know, and thus can effectively influence our buying decisions.

The study found that 4 out of 5 people were directly influenced by their friend’s social media posts. Edelman* surveyed some 33,000 consumers in 27 countries, and they found that over 50% of them considered employee’s opinions credible and considered them the most credible source.

This outlined that consumers want to hear straight from the employees and treat them as ambassadors of the company.

It is clear that consumers are looking for credible opinions and whilst agencies should still go down the route of implementing other marketing strategies, its imperative that store managers and other employees tell the story of the brand, using their store level, personal or individual social accounts.

This will also make it easier to keep track of important content through social media, to find out what is most effective and popular across certain markets.


Local websites are declining
Many well-known businesses with big and sometimes convoluted product catalogues, such as Argos, require complex but functional websites. This isn’t the case for all businesses though, and for those that have simpler product lines, the necessity and utility of traditional websites is drawing thin.

Content discovery such as Snapchat Discovery and the one million articles that have been published directly on LinkedIn and Facebook are all evidence that branded content is moving away from search and into the realm of social.

This has been found to be true for local consumers generally don’t bother with the business’s website anymore and instead communicate directly through its social accounts or store.

So true is this that many businesses have noticed the trend and no longer have websites. Websites do not always contain up to date information. Social media on the other hand, such as Instagram, Twitter or Facebook, is up to the second and customers of these businesses clearly appreciate the real time updates about business information.

Making impulse buying social, is key and social commerce can aid your brand in being different with simple and fun buying processes. An easy and enticing way to begin is with flash promotions.

Since social users newsfeed is short lived and constantly updating, seeing a promotion there can create a feeling of urgency – that it might be gone soon or disappear into the social abyss. This makes customers want to act quickly for fear of missing out.

The buying experience is no longer the same
It used to be that when people wanted to buy something they went out to the shops. They would have a look around, perhaps get some advice in-store, but that’s no longer the case.

The digital world has changed the landscape permanently and that change will only continue. There is an ongoing increase in the move from traditional marketing methods, to social marketing, as one of the first places that people look for advice on a product or service is social media.

Sometimes a consumer compares your social presence to that of a competitor. They are looking to see that there is a presence, awareness and consideration of every aspect of the buying journey, and this will have a direct impact on who they trust and ultimately which business gets the sale.

Social marketing requires variety, as followers will quickly lose interest in similar posts. Create a sense of being a peer, not a business. Posts do not always have to be about the products you sell and a bit of topic variety will keep your followers engaged and interested.

Your social content also needs to solve a specific problem related to your brand. Don’t spend too much time worrying about creating entertaining posts – they will be enjoyed by your followers, but quickly forgotten about. Instead, focus your attention on creating something memorable and insightful about your products or services.

When a consumer has made their decision, they will then look for social proof as mentioned earlier. If you have engaged well enough with your consumers, there will be a plethora of content out there that will help consumers rationalise their choice and ultimately help to complete the sale.

New brands should skip straight to social marketing
It is estimated that as many as 25% of companies will lose their market share by the year 2017 if they do not take into consideration the importance of digital disruption. Sounds ominous, but it need not be.

Over the upcoming 10 years we will see the first truly digital decade, with digital technology moving to the forefront. The successful companies of the future will be those that understand social and its importance. They will move quickly to connect with consumers, act on these findings and create the digital storefronts of the future.

Keep a keen eye on your competitors and learn what works. Things are different and there is a new set of rules to play by. So if you can learn from the mistakes and successes of others, you will be on the right path to having your own success.

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