In some cases 95% of marketing budgets are spend on getting customers into a store. When customers finally made it to the store there is often no way to tell their friends what they are experiencing or to lookup some information they needed via their mobile devices. This is not only the cases for retail stores most venues with a high entertainment value (holiday parks, amusement parks) or venues with a high hospatility level such as hotels or restaurants also don’t provide an easy way to share your experience. All these locations just simply lack connectivity such as a decent phone reception or WiFi.
Two weeks ago I was quite fortunate to be invited to speak at the Social by Design event which was organized by Capgemini and Microsoft. During this event I took the liberty to elaborate further on how retailers in specific could harness social design to make it a better experience. Especially since currently most retailers have customer service departments that are more loyalty prevent departments than real service departments. Also something that some retailers (or organizations) in general tend to forget that even though it has always been some kind of cat and mouse game between customer and organization, the customer is now the one who is the cat. He dictates what happens and social media provides him some additional powers in doing so and help in organizing small online revolutions.
An easy way to keep your audience in or to grow and audience, is by being a gatekeeper. Of course that is attractive since the effort to get and keep your audience is relatively low, since people getting in is simple (there is just one way to use content: our product), getting out is really hard (since again: only your product allows access to the content).
Facebook is introducing Timeline for Brand pages in the upcoming few weeks. Of course this is in basis about unifying the complete Facebook experience. Though I would say it is more than that. Timeline will make a killing in brands. It is the emperor’s new clothes, though instead of an emperor walking around naked we now see brands being exposed.
There is a lot to do about f-commerce lately, especially the closing down of some Facebook storefronts of big retailers. Of course there are people telling that commerce on Facebook doesn’t work (and of course never will work in their views) because Facebook is different and without understanding their own comments, they hit the nail on the head:
Having people participating on your online (social) platform is something that requires often a lot of hard work and careful planning and design. One of the basic things to help people to participate is to make things really easy to start with. So make it easy to sign up, and once signed up, make it easy to login.