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Conclusion – February 2015

SOCIAL MEDIA IS fast becoming a crucial part of the mix for leading cross-channel retailers. That’s because, as we’ve seen through the research that underlies this IRUK 500 Brand and Engagement Performance Dimension Report, those at the forefront of customer engagement today are now adept at planning and executing campaigns not only via Facebook and Twitter but also through Pinterest, Instagram and many other platforms.

Even so, there’s much that retailers of all sizes have to learn about the still-emerging power of social media in retail. These are networks that thrive on two-way conversations. That means responding to tweets and posts as well as starting dialogues: this builds loyalty and develops relationships in a multichannel world.

A useful way to think about Brand and Engagement is to focus not only on how customers engage with brands, but how brands engage with social networks. By joining the conversation, they place themselves for a future in which openness and responsiveness will matter as retailers become trusted destinations for shoppers. By bringing shopper conversations and brand messages together to form a coherent whole, retailers can speak to an audience that is both engaged and receptive of what they have to say.

As a final word, congratulations to the retailers whose top practice at gaining Visibility, acquiring Audience, Breadth of engagement, and Cultivation of customers set them apart as the Elite, Leading and Model retailers in this Dimension.

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