Retailers who are killing the social media game
Every retailer should use social media as a marketing tool. We love discovering independent retailers online, and we admire their work and carefully curated posts. To find out their secrets and offer advice for other independent retailers, we spoke to SHOLDIT, ReCircle Home and The Salvaged Boutique.
SHOLDIT says social media “adds an additional dimension you wouldn’t reach otherwise.” Their online interactions are like in-person meetings. They say it puts them in front of people. In terms of networking, they can connect with buyers and influencers on a new level.
SHOLDIT found that the most successful posts are those that are “very photogenic and transport your buyer to an interesting moment, where they can sense like they’re part of [your brand]”. SHOLDIT uses mainly Facebook and Twitter as its business platform. They view Instagram as a “up-and-coming next-gen tool” and are focused on Instagram stories to engage more customers and businesses, and share their brand. SHOLDIT encourages retailers and brands to use Instagram stories to communicate with customers. It allows them to “screenshot someone wearing [their] products, share behind-the scenes, tag businesses, and have a high volume of people who will engage back.”
Social media requires time investment. Social media can be a time investment. Retailers who want to increase their social media presence need to ensure that it is integrated seamlessly with their website, understand their demographic, and maximize your selling potential. SHOLDIT also shared some advice with us: “Social media is a 24/7 first impression.”
Why is the US slow to adopt new payment technologies?
The U.S. is a country that is known for being a leader in innovation but has been slow to improve payment methods. The U.S. had $112 billion in mobile payments transactions at the end of 2016. That seems like an incredible number. In China, mobile transactions amounted to over $5.5 trillion. Mobile payments are a new payment technology that increases user engagement and in-app spend. It also reduces abandoned shopping carts. These payments are more convenient and safer for consumers. Despite all the benefits, America is still reluctant to adopt new payment technology.
U.S. customers are reluctant to give up their cash-using and hard plastic, despite the ease and security of using online banking. Safety is a major reason Americans resist change. The global credit card fraud loss of $5.3 billion in 2012 to American banks, retailers and card issuers was almost half that amount. There have been numerous public hacks since then that have raised concerns. Its widespread adoption is hampered by the apparent danger of new payment technology and its perceived lack of value for U.S. customers.
The U.S. doesn’t see enough value in new payment technology. It is costly for retailers to update payment systems. With so few customers using “tap and go”, and other newly developed technologies, it is difficult to see the rewards. Mobile payments cut down on checkout time by a mere 1 to 2 seconds, which isn’t enough to encourage consumers to make contactless payments. The U.S. requires that you have a smartphone capable of downloading a mobile bank, your card and bank must be supported by the mobile wallet and, ultimately, it is not guaranteed that all stores will update their technology. While payment methods will eventually be upgraded and save time in the future, consumers aren’t seeing the benefits right now.
America is falling behind, but a leader has emerged in payment technology. Australia is paving the way for other countries. Because they have a solid infrastructure and a fully developed market for contactless payment, they have emerged victorious. Tap and Go is used by more than 82% of Australians to make payments each week. Tap and go has become a standard in Australia. 33 percent of Australians get annoyed when shops don’t offer tap and move (Mastercard). Small and large retailers have the right to offer contactless payments, which enhances the shopping experience.
The U.S. Retailer can offer new payment technology to customers by offering them new payment options. Although consumers are slow to adapt, they will soon catch up. Stores won’t want be behind the technology curve. Apple Pay is supported by over a third of U.S. retailers and this number is increasing. Your business can join the growing list of innovators that welcome new payment technology.