Social media 'driving consumer preferences'

Social Media are having a significant influence on consumer preferences, according to a report from analyst IDC. This study aanalyzes the various social phenomena developing on the Web 2.0, and how these can be used by retailers to gain a competitive advantage.

It is increasingly on social media that retail brand awareness is established and brand image is built, according to IDCRetail Insights research director Ivano Ortis: “Social networks, blogs, price comparison Web sites - all can be used by retailers to attract and influence customers, to study demand patterns, to improve brand reputation, and to provide customer support”.

‘Business Strategy: Social Commerce Opportunities, Strategies, and Risks for Retailers Globally’ describes an “Open social network built on a personalised widget portal, which will be available to each consumer individually, independent of each retailer — and yet supported by all of them — accessible from via a wide array of technologies”.

Retailers should establish a presence on social networks not only with the direct objective of attracting consumers to their Websites or stores, but most importantly to “gather useful information, in a non-intrusive way, on current and potential customers”.

Retailers should “learn to listen at customers who are engaged in social communities”, the report counsels.

E&T Social Media World Forum blog —

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