Impact of Social Media on Retail – Mashable Report

I recently read a report by Christine Erickson on Mashable highlighting how and why retailers have started to take advantage of Social Media to grow their market and compete online.   With the various Social Media sources out there the potential for growth in this area is tremendous over the coming years, providing a great opportunity for retailers to grow their footprint globally at a low-cost to entry into markets where previously setting up a retail presence would have been a no go.

The success of this would be dependent upon many factors – flexibility of the Social Media service, choosing the right service as a sales channel, how to display and enable search of content are just a few that come to mind.

This move of retailers or other business using Social Media sources could also potentially cause competition between the Social Media sites fighting and bidding for the brands !!!! – wouldn’t that be great.

What would be interesting to know, from the data below, is the geographical split of followers across each of the services, or what percentage of followers are true purchasers.  This would provide an interesting dimension as to how successful the retailers strategy has been since going social.

Questions should also be asked of the intent of the followers – are they followers because they are true purchasers or they just there to follow the retailer because they have an emotional attachment to the brand or is the retail brand actually a representation of the individuals brand.

What is also interesting is the distribution of retailers across the various Social Media services below.   Are we looking at a another form of demographic measurement ?  There been a number of articles regarding consumers who are dedicated on-line shoppers.  A Socially Conscious Consumer is described best by the Nielsen Wire.

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Can I take a look inside ?

For many years mapping services have answered one of those tormenting questions …….”How do i get there ?”  The benefit of using a city guide either in the form of a paper map, online map or via a mobile has proven to be invaluable to millions worldwide.

But what if you wanted to take a peek behind the doors or under the roof.

What if your question is – “How do I get to the store within the mall ? ” or ” How far am I from the stage ? ” or ” Is it a long walk to the gate  ?”.  Well look no further.  Over the last 12 months those clever guys in our Bing Maps development team have been working actively to answer just those questions through the introduction of “Venue Maps”.

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The introduction of Venue Maps has provided a new dimension to mapping.  This new feature allows users to navigate through a mall, airport, stadium or even university.  With over 900 venue maps and growing Bing Maps team are working daily on providing new Venue’s.   The maps are not just limited to providing with a lay out or footprint but provide contextual data – Business name, contact details and links to home pages where available.  As well as through Bing.com from your desktop, Venue Maps are available through mobile devices that support HTML5 capable browsers including iPhone, Android and RIM devices.