Social Media Followings Are Playing Leading Roles in Retail reports FBViro
Businesses to gauge sentiment before taking decisions
Macy’s chose to carry a line of jeans after conducting a poll of customers at Facebook.com. Wal-Mart customers were offered an opportunity to vote on which toy would receive a discount.
Retailers are exploring customer sentiments to be able to better focus their sales efforts, according to the head of Macy’s digital media, Jennifer Kasper. It can make consumers feel as though they are part of the decision-makers at the company, Kasper added.
Macy’s chose to stock a line of jeans in “Very Vivid” colors, rather than gentler pastel hues, after receiving feedback consisting of 750 comments and thousands of “likes.” Earlier this year, the retailer used Facebook to gauge customer sentiment about a floral print dress that it plans to stock in February.
In the past, companies have focused on growing a social media following, Matt Cronin of the Web Liquid Group told The AP. Now businesses are looking at putting their social media data to best use, said Cronin, who helped found the digital marketing agency.
Wal-Mart introduced a “Toyland Tuesday” campaign that allowed consumers to choose one of two toys to get a discount. Wal-Mart’s senior director of social media, Wanda Young, said 4,000 stores were given directions about prices for the following Tuesday.
The discount retailer last year bought a company that does Web analytics to try to predict popular products.
Pop culture has a big influence on consumers, and companies are learning that can be more important than shopping patterns, says Shernaz Daver, a spokeswoman for Wal-Mart’s Web analytics unit, now called @Walmartlabs.
“Social media has enabled us to understand intent,” Daver told The AP.
Wal-Mart has over 25 million Facebook likes.
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