according to emily zager…

‘App’y Holidays?

Posted on: November 30, 2009

I came across a great article today via AbelineBiz talking about how major retails are currently utilizing social media to increase their sales around the holidays.  Well, readers, the holiday season is officially upon us.  Author Jackie Crosby of the Minneapolis Star Tribune discusses how the iPhone as well as popular social media tools are revoluntionizing retailers, especially when December looms on the horizon.

Crosby writes:

“Social media has become the newest holiday strategy for some retailers, who are hoping the technology can bring some luster to their efforts to reach customers who are holding tight to their money this year.”

Let’s take this to a personal level.  I’m a college kid, currently enrolled in a PR and Social Media class at Loyola Chicago.  It’s now a part of my education to learn about these technologies and devices (if you’ve stumbled upon my blog earlier, this is old news).  Now, one step further – I use Twitter and various iPhone apps such as Yelp and various iPhone apps to discover deals and the latest news from my favorite stores.

However, though I feel that some companies and stores seem to use these programs and tools to the point that their efforts become a little too Spammy for my taste (ahem, take a peek at Twitter), I do appreciate how retailers are actively engaging in social media.  I’m a big fan of J.Crew, and receive notifications via email for great deals such as free shipping and holiday specials curtailed specifically for their online followers.

Here’s some interesting news:

According to Crosby, “About 47 percent of retailers surveyed last month by the National Retail Federation planned to increase their use of Facebook, Twitter and other online social networks this holiday season. As for shoppers, three out of five say they’re planning to use social media to look for discounts, coupons and sales, according to Deloitte Research.”

I can’t say that I’m surprised, but I am impressed. I’m also one of those 3 out of the 5 individuals who participate.  I feel like I have constant access to the latest news and deals, regardless if I’m near my computer or on the go. My mother enjoys shopping and has recently signed up for Facebook, and even she is now a part of this crowd.  If I’m with her, she asks me if I know of any news or holiday deals for some of our favorite places to shop – and I can access this information immediately.  I may not necessarily make purchases when I visit these places in person, but the awareness garnered by the usage of social media adds to my appreciation of the companies and stores.

What are your thoughts on your holiday shopping outlook and the app trend?

Check out the article here.

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Emily received her BA in Advertising & Public Relations from Loyola University Chicago in May 2010. She is inquisitive by nature and loves to surround herself with new situations, people and the world around her.

Emily is a lifelong dancer, a current ballroom dance instructor, and lover of all things social media. She's currently searching for a new career opportunity in PR, event planning or advertising. Take a peek at her musings about media, branding & the PR indsutry.

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