Digital retail has been a big topic here at Retail's BIG Show. While optimizing a Facebook (Nasdaq: FB) strategy may sound like old news in the world of social media, the fact remains that Facebook is still the largest social platform on the internet and thus remains a valuable and relevant tool for retailers seeking to build community and generate sales.
Nicolas Franchet, Facebook's head of retail and e-commerce, shared the top three digital trends that retailers should take note of when connecting with consumers on the platform.
Discovery: "The number one trend is product discovery," said Franchet. "The bulk of shopping is not about knowing what you want. It's about discovering things you didn't know you wanted. We are building tools to help you make our users discover your product." Facebook pointed to No More Rack, Joss and Main and Fab.com as three retail partners who are using Facebook as a tool to help social media users learn about new merchandise.
Seasonality: "Digital is allowing retailers to segment the year into smaller events and talk to smaller groups of people," explained Franchet. Facebook brand pages allow retailers to deliver unique messages to specific demographics that can target users by region, age, gender and even relationship status, just to name a few. As an example, this becomes helpful for a clothing retailer that wants to promote a sale on down jackets, but only wants to reach users in cold weather states. Franchet pointed to Wendy's, which recently touted a post during the recent Polar Vortex that was specifically sent to its Facebook followers residing in areas with record-low temperatures.
Compression: "Retail is undergoing a massive compression with the shift to mobile," explained Franchet. "In the last 10 years, we've built e-commerce experiences that have been merchandising a couple hundred products at a time. On mobile, you only have a few shots." So, how can retailers get it right with a smaller assortment of products? The answer lies in personalization. Loyalty programs, such as CVS/pharmacy's Extracare Rewards Program and Sephora's Beauty Insider Program, are offering customers greater incentives for using the mobile app, and as a result, these programs are extracting larger amounts of dynamic customer data. This data can then be used to send shoppers personalized offers, such as coupons on recently purchased items, which build loyalty and bring in sales.
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