The Internet has had a huge impact on the retail market. Some stores see online tools as the ultimate competitor, others have embraced the solutions offered by an interconnected world. Brick-and-mortar establishments have been utilizing visual merchandising that incorporates social media tools.
Nordstrom has started to use in-store displays to indicate which items have been shared most often on Pinterest, ClickZ reported. Similar promotional efforts have been used around the world. A London department store provided their changing rooms with iPads so customers could take selfies in their new ensembles. Many physical retailers have installed interactive displays that show live-streaming social media content.
There is no indication that this trend is slowing down. ClickZ shared the results of Impact and Benefit Agreement research finding more than 50 percent of retailers plan on increasing their in-store social media features. It doesn't always take a huge investment, though. Not every social media strategy needs to involve store-provided devices or huge touch screen displays.
Social Media Today suggested customers like to engage in these promotions because shopping is inherently a social activity. New media tools allow consumers to share their activities with friends and families who are not in the store with them. These days, every customer who walks into the store has a computer and camera in their pocket; stores just need to give them reasons to use their tech tools for promotion.
Physical retailers can use simple signage recommending social media offers or indicating good spots for photos ops. Online pages can encourage discounts for customers who share pictures and recommendations from their shopping experience. Engaging displays are sometimes reason enough for people to promote store merchandise on their social media pages.
A store can profit from this trend by encouraging online networking and making sure their retail display fixtures are ready for Twitter.