With the use of internet today, Social media plays a huge role in merchandising and sales. Companys that want to succeed in todays market need to take social media into consideration in order to keep up with most retail businesses today. Social media connects groups of people with similar interests which plays a huge role in merchandising and knowing your customer. “On-line communities, an integral part of social media, are beneficial because they provide cross-selling opportunities to different user group who share the same platform” (Hodge, 2010).
Stores also offer rewards through social media and online membership,which gives customers a feeling of belonging to a retailer. The customer feels more attached to the product purchased and the retailer providing it, which will likely result in brand loyalty. “Last year we saw retailers embracing social, and this will continue in 2012. We’ll see closer integration of retail social channels with existing CRM programmes and loyalty schemes. Retailers will be looking to close the loop between in-store and online behavior by rewarding social interaction and social channel behaviour within their existing reward schemes.”( Coleman,managing partner at We Are Social) Retailers like H&M and Diesel are taking advantage of social media by giving teaser youtube videos to consumers, and facebook videos of latest fashions. It keeps the customer involved and excited to purchase from that retailer. A Deisel in Spain has even brought social media into the store by setting up what they call a “Deisel cam”. Customers can take pictures in the store and post it to facebook right then and there. This is a way of showing off the clothes to future customers and also making the customer feel involved through experiential aspects. With the rise of social media, businesses should truely understand the influence it can have on marketing and the relationship with their consumer.