Social media is about talking with your friends and sharing pictures. What social media is not about is shopping. And several retailers are learning this the hard way. Last year a major video game retailer opened a store on the biggest social network. According to a Bloomberg article, the retailer boasted 3.5 million fans.
“Six months later, the store was quietly shuttered,” Bloomberg reported.
The game store isn’t alone. Clothiers, both high-end and mid-range, also closed storefronts on social networking sites.
“There was a lot of anticipation that [this] would turn into a new destination, a store, a place where people would shop,” an expert said in the article . “But it was like trying to sell stuff to people while they’re hanging out with their friends at the bar.”
A year ago, investors said selling to people while they were in the social networking sites would be “the next big thing,” threatening other online retailers because people spend most of their online time there.
But here’s the problem: people prefer to go to a retailer’s website and shop there.
All is not lost, however. Shoppers are willing to give their feedback on a store’s products on the company’s social networking site. But retailers need to be careful about this because any negative comments can receive a lot of exposure this way.
Source: Bloomberg, February 2012