Magazine Article | December 21, 2011

Social Media's Impact On Customer Engagement

Source: Innovative Retail Technologies

January 2012 Integrated Solutions For Retailers

By Steve Rowen, managing partner, RSR Research

Successful integration of social media into the retailer’s total value proposition must begin with an examination of the brand’s place in the consumer’s life.

In 2011, virtually any conversation between two informed parties about the evolving retail consumer invariably becomes a quick-draw competition to the words “social media.” This is driven entirely by consumers’ rapid and insatiable willingness to use seemingly impersonal electronic devices to engage with one another in the most personal of ways. Simple product choices and intimate, complex life decisions alike are being made in the blue-faced tint of LED/LCD screens all over the world, with input from trusted advisors and complete strangers — all of them virtually — and on devices ranging in size from massive, networked screens once used for singledirection entertainment (television) to the tiny, wireless, mobile computers (smartphones) that go everywhere we do.

As a result, our industry is positively buzzing with ideas and opportunity for new ways to become part of the consumers’ lives. But, for all the buzz, what is social media?