Beneath The Screen

By Blackdog - about 6 years ago


Resident retail expert Dave Shrimpton tells it straight about the world of retail, online and instore. A plague on bad shopper marketing, Dave leaves no shelf unturned when it comes to highlighting retailers that make shopping easier for customers.

As you will know by now, my expertise is to be out from behind the desk (or phone) and in stores, looking at what the world of retail has to offer. But it turns out, as the web has evolved, so shopping has changed with it.

Now a retailer’s online shop window is just as important as the physical one. If not more, as audiences suddenly have a voice where a complaint goes much further than the ears of the store manager on duty at that time.

Social media for retailers becomes an opportunity for them to reach out and engage with their customers, but do Facebook and Instagram “likes” or Twitter retweets actually turn into increased sales? Surely that’s what it’s all about, after all.

This week I’ve been comparing the online presence of many a big FMCG brand with its in store one. What I’ve found is that social media presents the opportunity for brands to be quite the catfish.

Pull an image of every big retailer’s Instagram feed and look at them blind. Can you discern who is who easily? Perhaps not as easily as you might think.

Budget stores whose in store presence is always a bit of a mess, sport beautiful Instagram feeds, full of absolute consistency. Whereas some of the bigger retailers who you’d perhaps mark out as consistent in store, leave you lacking with confused messaging and a mishmash of image types. The learning being: in store, there is nowhere to hide. Online, you can be who you want to be with some nice photography and a video or two, which seems to be the pick of the litter for views and likes.

Similarly, campaigns that have never really “worked” in their physical environments, work amazingly online. A well-known celebrity endorser of a budget brand is disjointed in store but online, where fans can easily find it, receives a ton of engagement. Similarly, many brands who don’t have the budget to create regularly changing PoS displays, are producing social media content like it’s going out of fashion.

The online world is giving every brand a level playing field and if that gets people in stores and awake, then that can only be a good thing.