Retailers Relying on Facebook, Other Social Media to Make Important Holiday Decisions

Facebook is helping to depict what’s in stores this holiday season

In an article written by Mercury News, here, they explain how both customers and retailers are benefiting by their social media usage during this holiday season.

Macy’s and Walmart were the two brands specifically mentioned, which post images of products to get customer feedback on order quantities, or even opinions of what should be featured in stores. Macy’s in particular would show options of different colored jeans. After overwhelming feedback that neon colored jeans were more preferred than pastel colored jeans, (through observations of likes, shares and comments), they made the conscious decision to stock up on more neon jeans for the holidays. Not only is this helpful knowledge to retailers, but it makes shopping more enjoyable for customers. They have enough supplies of a popular item, and are selling products of popular demand.

Walmart is also using social media to gain insight to which toys are more preferred. Whichever toy gets the most attention to Facebook, has a sale the next Tuesday of each week. Customers now become involved in the pricing process. They feel that they have made a difference, and their participation got them a great price on a toy they’re buying for the holidays!

Mentioned towards the end of the article is a small business where decorative flags are sold. Contrary to intuitions, snow flags are popular in the south (where it doesn’t snow much). The business’ owner was unaware of this, never promoted these products in the South, and may have lost dollars in revenue. Immediate Facebook feedback can help avoid potential mistakes, and will leave customers satisfied knowing they are participants, and their favorite products are always in stock.

6 thoughts on “Retailers Relying on Facebook, Other Social Media to Make Important Holiday Decisions

  1. This is really a great article. At a time where many businesses are still unsure how to best utilize their presence on social media outlets, these businesses were able to create untapped benefits for the brand, business and their consumers.

    Such use of social media to more accurately forecast product consumption, especially around the holiday season, is genius. I love it!

  2. Great article! I think it’s interesting to look to look at how the trends in fashion have progressed from being slow progressing trends as it went from city to city to now, where fashion is depicted on every social media outlet available. As the article stated, fashion is becoming heavily influenced by the pop culture trends and what consumers view on social media.

    It was smart for companies such as Macy’s and Walmart to leveraged their fan participation to boost sales, especially during the holiday. However, it am curious to see how this works when sales are not so driven by holiday shopping. How do companies avoid utilizing this news found information too late?

  3. I agree, this is a great article. I really like the innovation for sales of toys, including the consumer, this is one of the few articles that I have read that have started changing the way companies and consumers interact. I believe this could really be the beginning of a new trend that other companies will try out in their own ways. This usage of social media is taking it to the next level and really changing the game, consumers will likely have positive reactions to being apart of the sales and products that will help create a less of a distinction between corporate companies and the consumers purchasing the products. This blurring distinction will be interesting to see its affects.
    I wonder if this will help increase sales for specific companies or whether it will be negatively received.

  4. I also agree that this is a great article. It was very smart of Macys and Walmart to ask customers opinions. It is frustrating when there isn’t enough of the product it stock. It is nice that customers have a say on what stores offer during the holidays for a change. After reading the article I feel as though Facebook is helping a lot with this. It is smart for them to post something for people to like as a way of getting feedback. I am curious to see if these stores as well as others, start using this method other times of the year as well. I wonder if customers would rather have a say on what is offered in stores or not.

  5. Walmart did a really great job using social media to increase sales. They were able to find out which products were in demand and got consumers to participate. I think mothers would participate, which is especially good because they make most of the purchasing decisions for the family.

    I think this could be very helpful for a new business that doesn’t have a defined relationship with their customers.

  6. Just a few years ago, parents were watching TV commercials and clipping coupons to save on their children’s Christmas toys.Now apparently they’re turning to Facebook…or at least they should be. I didn’t find anywhere in the article a mention of parents’ usage of this ”social media shopping.” What more could a parent ask for? You don’t even need to step out of the comfort of your Facebook to find deals on your children’s favorite toys. I think it’d be productive to see how mothers and fathers are using this!

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