Retailers need to maintain a presence with consumers and these days, that means shifting some of their marketing resources from traditional advertising to other formats. New research shows retailers are heavily favoring specific kinds of new media. They believe that maintaining their own social sites gives them more control over their brands and allows them to strengthen customer loyalty.
A recently published study from Boston Retail Partners focused on how retailers are using new media. For the most part, social networking has become a favorite marketing tool for retailers as the following usage numbers show with respect to percentages of survey respondents who have implemented these strategies and say they’re working well:
- Hosted social networking sites: 42%
- YouTube videos: 23%
- Hosted blogs: 19%
- Monitoring external social networking sites: 13%
- SMS text: 10%
- 2D barcode scanning: 10%
- Location-based social networking: 10%
- Monitoring blogs: 3%
Within the next 2 years, another 32% of retailers intend to host their own social networking sites. Analysts also noted that fewer retailers in general are monitoring external sites but 43% will start that process soon. The trend toward establishing owned sites allows retailers to quickly react to any negative comments.
While blogs might have been an important tool at one point for retailers, it seems most are leaning toward using social networking sites. This shift isn’t surprising as that is where marketers of all types can find their audience. Hosting a social network site is like moving into the next generation of a blog. The extra features on social networks enable retailers to avoid some of the expense of updating and maintaining the blog and these sites are also much easier to use as a two-way communications device.[Source: 14 Annual POS Benchmarking Survey. Boston Retail Partners. Jan. 2013. Web. 8 Feb. 2013]