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Social networking is staking a claim in retail as a tool for branding, community building, and gathering customer intelligence. Tapping into the growing trend, Mandee is diving in headfirst to connect with shoppers on a more personal level. The ever present question of what consumers want can leave retailers scratching their heads. Voluntary surveys and consumer profiling typically focuses only on information relevant to the shopping experience. Harvesting the power of new media tools, Mandee is leaving it up to the consumer to get personal.
Mandee has managed to find ways of reaching their customers at every channel—mobile, in store, online and via multiple social networks. By using widgets, Mandee creates multiple surveys which plug into all of their social network pages (Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, MyYearbook, etc), to find out about customer preferences, such as favorite color to wear for spring and what world issue customers are most concerned about. Ultimately, this gives customers the ability to sound off on what’s important to them, but it’s also a great way to get deep, personal insight into the consumer mindset and put it to work for promotional and merchandising decisions.
“Facebook is becoming the main portal—30% of the US now uses as their home page of their browser,” says Bob Phibbs, Founder & President, The Retail Doctor. “Being on Facebook is a secondary market that helps with influence and intent. That is different than Google or the other searches which usually are used to buy at once. Friends telling friends or word of mouth can be cultivated quite easily online and for free. Any widget you can create to drive customers’ eyeballs to will be the future.”
Last week Mandee asked fans to share their thoughts on being able to buy the season's hottest trends in Plus Size if it were available on Mandee.com. Several fans “liked” the idea, giving...