There’s no doubt about it, the marriage of social networking and retail has made it possible for a message to spread instantaneously across the globe. Everyone, literally everyone, can hear about the new 50 percent off sale.
Unfortunately for retailers, this marriage is a huge double-edged sword. Retailers need to be extremely careful because unhappy customers will come back to bite them. And people on social networks are very verbal; they’ll post their feelings everywhere. Retailers have to make sure their customers are happy.
What’s even more difficult about this retail-social media marriage is that it’s so easily unbalanced in favor of nasty feedback.
When people go shopping they expect to have a great experience with great service and a great product. They’re not going to go to a grocery store and buy a loaf of bread and then go home and write, “Omigosh, I had the best experience!” But if they go to a discount store on the weekend and buy workout shorts and the store has the sizes marked wrong, customers are going to go tell their friends.
But still, businesses must have an online presence or they will fail, said Joe Payne, chairman and CEO of Eloqua, a marketing automation and revenue performance management platform vendor.
Payne discussed how CEOs must do a better job of managing — and merging — marketing and sales, in a recent article on Forbes.com.
“Understanding what your buyer is expecting and having a company culture that naturally aligns to those expectations is a ‘must-do’ if you want to become a social enterprise,” Payne said in the article.
Source: Forbes, October 2011