More Retailers Using Social Media

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An increasing number of retailers are turning to social media to target teens and young adults during the back to school shopping season according to JupiterResearch.

Retailers are trying out a number of Web 2.0 tools for their back to school marketing campaigns, including using virtual worlds, social networks, social shopping sites, visual search engines, video and widgets.

"The back-to-school season has grown in importance for retailers and leads into the all important fourth quarter sales period," said Patti Freeman Evans, Research Director and Online Retail Analyst at JupiterResearch. "With the shaky economy expected to impact the amount of money consumers spend on back-to-school shopping, retailers are using social media to capture the attention of younger consumers."

Clothing retailer J.C. Penny created an online game to promotes its new clothing line and Sears did a similar campaign to showcase the different clothing sold by the company.

Retailers like Victoria’s Secret and Apple have focused on the college age demographic. Victoria’s Secret teamed up with 33 universities to launch a shirt campaign. As part of Apple’s back to school promotion, students and faculty of an accredited university receive a free iPod with the purchase of a computer.

"Retailers experimenting with Web 2.0 experiences will largely find benefit from them in the form of branding and awareness building rather than direct sales as social media has shown little direct impact on actual online retail sales," said David Schatsky, President of JupiterResearch.

More Retailers Using Social Media
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  • http://www.eporia.com Seattle Website Design

    Many businesses are unfortunately still shying away from social media since they can’t see the direct impact on actual online sales. However, there is no question that the branding and awareness building value is worth a fortune long-term.

  • http://www.actonia.com Christ Boulanger

    I think its great that more retailers are getting into social media marketing. But as an online marketing consultant, I know you still need to have some metric that you target in your campaigns.

    Maybe it won’t be conversions or sales, but without something for the marketing VP to point to as a measure of success, you end up with poorly-supported or just plain sloppy campaign implementations Example: We all know companies with defunct or underutilized MySpace pages. This happens because companies expect a quantifiable gain, but can never find it on a spreadsheet.

    Right now, I push social media in terms of branding with an emphasis on building loyalty. This works for larger retailers, but if you are a smaller firm, you want to know that this will equal ‘x’ number of new visitors or at least provide an SEO benefit through more links (and mentions in articles like this one).

    We know social is here to stay and retailers want to get involved. What we need to do is formalize/standardize the expectations. Otherwise, I fear we will have a few more seasons where retailers jump on board and then it will peter out.


  • http://www.tributebandreviews.co.uk Tribute Band Reviews

    The social media marketing landscape is extremely confusing and overwhelming. There are hundreds of these social networks…how do you know which one’s are going to be effective and bring measurable results to your bottom line?

    It’s obviously no good setting up profiles on loads of these networks without a well thought out strategy to tie it all together. I’m keen to get started but I’m so confused by the whole thing. In an attempt to try and educate myself in this area, I bought ‘The New Rules Of Marketing And PR’ by David Meerman Scott a couple of weeks ago. This book is a ‘must’ read in my opinion, I’ve read it twice now, highlighted loads of things and folded back the corners of some very important pages, I paticularly like the ‘news release’ chapters and some of the excellent case studies. I’m also half way through reading ‘Groundswell’ by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff. Again this book gets two thumbs up from me!

    I suppose I’m really looking for a social media marketing step-by-step, idiot proof blueprint.

    It appears that old school marketing methods will be going the way of the dodo!

    John O’Hara
    United Kingdom



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