Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Facebook Mall & Retail Trends

Working through my email archives this week and I came across this message from Karen Hernandez at Normandale Community College Bookstore. She wrote:

I thought this was an interesting article about shopping and setting up a store on facebook. Might be something that stores should think about doing soon while it is still free. If you read the entire article in “All Things Digital” it appears to be something that would be attractive to students when they find out about it.

This piece relates to another story from All Things Digital that has been sitting in my archives for a while. That story was on retail technology trends in 2010 that will change the way consumers shop: mobile, social, and local. Here is an excerpt:

Mobile: There’s definitely an app for that. As smartphones go mainstream, savvy shoppers use apps to price-check and read reviews of products in the store.
Result: Retailers watch in horror as shoppers leave their stores empty-handed and drive across town to another store or go online to order a different or cheaper product.

Social: Friends and social circles influence purchase decisions through the rise of Facebook and Twitter. Users check in on apps, such as Foursquare and shopkick, for discounts and incentives.
Result: Retailers who don’t bone up on their social media skills may miss out on generating conversations across the Web that result in online sales or traffic to their stores.

Local: Advertising begins shifting to Groupon and LivingSocial, as group discounting and daily deals gain popularity.
Result: At least initially, these deals have been successful at locking in sales for local stores and restaurants looking for a bump in visitors.

The story goes on to discuss what various retailers are doing in each of these areas with ideas for driving traffic or changing business practices. The world of retail is changing--time for folks to get on board.

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