“Who is Crystal Media? plus special BRA Member discount and access to view the ‘Reels Means Deals’ on-demand webinar right now” by Doug Works via BRA

“Who is Crystal Media? plus special BRA Member discount and access to view the ‘Reels Means Deals’ on-demand webinar right now” by Doug Works via BRA

A warm and enthusiastic WELCOME to our newest BRA Supporting Vendor Partner Crystal Media!    As a Board Retailers Association member, you save 15% on select Crystal Media Services! As always, we at BRA continue to bring you Supporting Vendor Partners that are here to save you time and money.  Crystal Media is one of them.  Take a look and decide for yourself whether this will work for you and your company,  Please give us feedback at doug@boardretailers.org  with your opinions.  For a decade, Crystal Media has been devoted to helping retailers—just like you—grow through social media. Their team has worked with thousands of companies in the retail industry to help them generate millions of dollars in additional revenue by deploying successful social media campaigns, providing consulting services, and managing digital marketing on their behalf. They’ve also taught thousands of retailers how to implement social media that delivers powerful results. What makes Crystal Media special is their unmatched expertise of retail and social media which allows them to produce what their clients care about most—results. Their passionate, approachable team of experts that, as a client, becomes an extension of your team—encouraging and supporting you no matter what your comfort level is with social media. They live their happy-to-help motto everyday, and are grateful to play a small role in helping independent businesses make a positive impact in their local communities. Check out these Crystal Media services to see what’s right for you and your business.Board Retailers Association members save 15%!  Use code BRA15 at checkout.➤ Insider: The social media membership every retailer needs. Get comprehensive, on-demand training, transformative virtual and in-person...
“Instagram is Becoming the New Mall: 3 Ways to Start Conversational Commerce Marketing” by Beerud Sheth via Total Retail

“Instagram is Becoming the New Mall: 3 Ways to Start Conversational Commerce Marketing” by Beerud Sheth via Total Retail

Credit: about.fb.com Everyone knows Instagram as a social medium, but only a few realize it’s now becoming a conversational medium as well. Recently launched features now enable brands to conduct business with customers through private conversations. Businesses can now directly carry out commerce through Instagram. This is a powerful capability poised to transform e-commerce as we know it. There are over 1 billion Instagram users worldwide who actively follow businesses, and 90 percent of Instagram accounts follow at least one business. With a majority of users in the coveted 18-34 age group, Instagram is becoming one of the most important social engagement channels for businesses, along with WhatsApp. Today, businesses use Instagram to reach existing and future customers and partners as well as the general public with rich media content, including videos and sponsored ads. While Instagram has already become a huge asset to digital marketers, it now has additional capabilities that can drive overall business growth by fostering what’s core to achieving that growth — conversational commerce. Conversational commerce goes beyond collecting likes, shares and comments on product marketing posts and advertisements. It requires businesses to use Instagram to deliver personalized two-way conversations with followers across the consumer pre-purchase, purchase and post-purchase journey. According to research from Meta, half of buyers said they engage in conversational commerce primarily through social media and messaging platforms, with 90 percent reporting they do so on Meta platforms (Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram). Implementing Conversational Commerce Via Instagram to Fast-Track Business Growth Here are three ways to start your conversational commerce journey on Instagram and grow your business faster: Related story: There Can Be No Denying:...
“Compassionate Retail is the Differentiator Your Organization is Looking For” by Bobby Marhamet via Total Retail

“Compassionate Retail is the Differentiator Your Organization is Looking For” by Bobby Marhamet via Total Retail

It turns out the American consumer of 2022 isn’t all that complicated, at least according to Raydiant’s State of Consumer Behavior 2022 report. Shoppers today want bang for their buck, they expect a positive all-around experience when they enter your stores, and have just a few other requests that most retailers can easily honor — with little more than attention to detail. In a trying time, why shouldn’t retailers and customers lean on each other? By every metric, customers need all the help they can get. Showing attentiveness to customer needs, now and for the foreseeable future, is the greatest gesture that a retailer can make. Compassionate retail isn’t just the right thing to do; it’s also the sage move for organizations serious about differentiating themselves from carbon-copy competitors. Several findings from our study are especially prescient for those seeking to gain customers’ trust and business in 2022 and beyond. Related story: Consumer Trends That Every Brick-and-Mortar Brand Must Respond To Finding No. 1: Experiences Have Become the Clearest Way to Differentiate Your Organization In a marketplace where prices are more or less the same among similar retailers, experiences have emerged as the primary way to set your organization apart. Seventy-seven percent of customers define the in-store experience as either “important” or “very important” to how they view a brand. Brands that provide customers far more than just products show compassion by delivering extraordinary value. It’s easy enough to put products up and to price them fairly. Organizations that go the extra mile at no additional expense to the customer, though, show where their hearts truly lie. Ikea shows how simple delivering excess...
“3 E-Commerce and Social Media Trends to Watch Through the Rest of 2022” by Jessica Hawthorne-Castro via Total Retail

“3 E-Commerce and Social Media Trends to Watch Through the Rest of 2022” by Jessica Hawthorne-Castro via Total Retail

E-commerce sales have been on the upswing as a share of total sales since before 2000, and in the last decade, social platforms have played an increasing role. Then 2020 happened, driving an unprecedented spike in online sales. This year so far, we’re seeing social media mature as a force that drives e-commerce, in addition to emerging technologies like the metaverse and 5G. Here’s a look at how e-commerce and social media will intersect across three major platforms through the rest of 2022. 1. Instagram Retains its Leadership Position in the Social Commerce Sphere This image-forward social platform is already a major player in e-commerce, with 72 percent of users reporting that they’ve made a purchase decision after seeing a post. Savvy brands have capitalized on Instagram’s visual-first design, placing content on the platform to keep consumers current on what’s new in stores or available online. With a successful suite of e-commerce features and the No. 1 rank among social platforms consumers use to follow brands, Instagram is still in a strong position in terms of e-commerce and brand communication, and that’s unlikely to change in the months ahead. Keep an eye on new features on Instagram like variable focus and augmented reality (AR) tools. Related story: Authenticity, Social Commerce Spur D-to-C Brand ZOX’s Growth 2. Snapchat Plays Catchup It may seem counterintuitive because Snapchat has a cutting-edge AR system, but the popular instant messaging app is losing ground in terms of active users relative to its competitors, and that makes it less of a player in e-commerce today. Instagram has well over twice as many active users, and TikTok has pulled far ahead,...
“PacSun opens metaverse store, auctions NFTs” by Tatiana Walk-Morris via Retail Dive

“PacSun opens metaverse store, auctions NFTs” by Tatiana Walk-Morris via Retail Dive

Courtesy of PacSun Dive Brief: Joining other brands in experimenting with the metaverse, Pacsun launched a three-level store in ComplexLand 3.0, a metaverse shopping festival taking place between May 25 and May 27, the youth clothing brand announced on Tuesday.Virtual shoppers with customizable avatars can browse curated products from Pacsun, and its resale arm, PS Reserve. Once consumers find an item they want to buy, they’ll be redirected from the virtual store to Pacsun’s website to make their purchase, the company said.The clothing brand is also auctioning off a non-fungible token of a Pacsun Mall Rat in ComplexLand’s virtual gallery. Buyers of the NFT will receive a sneaker from PS Reserve, per the announcement. Dive Insight: Pacsun’s entry into the ComplexLand 3.0 festival is part of its ongoing experimentation with the metaverse and blockchain technology. Last October, the apparel brand began accepting cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin and Litecoin via Bitpay to appeal to Gen Z consumers interested in digital assets. “Being part of ComplexLand 3.0 is a big step for us in the metaverse, coming almost a year after we introduced our first offering of Pacsun branded items on Roblox,” Brie Olson, president of Pacsun, said in a statement. “It is undeniable that metaverse as a whole has an incredible network effort. Not only do consumers find community in the space, but we, as a brand, get to connect with them in an authentic way and ultimately grow our Pac Community in the both digital and physical worlds as well.” Multiple brands and retailers, as diverse as Forever 21, Crate and Barrel, Tommy Hilfiger, DKNY and Walmart, have turned their attention to the metaverse. However, a Gartner report noted that companies shouldn’t devote too many resources to one metaverse component,...
“Social Commerce is Having More Than a Moment – Brands not embracing this trend, or at least testing the water, will be left behind” by Stevie Morris via Total Retail

“Social Commerce is Having More Than a Moment – Brands not embracing this trend, or at least testing the water, will be left behind” by Stevie Morris via Total Retail

Credit: HubSpot Social commerce, the latest darling of digital marketers, continues its meteoric rise with the latest predictions putting the industry at $1.2 trillion in purchases by 2025. With more than $958 billion spent in 2021, it’s clear that social commerce represents a very real, profitable tactic for brands. No wonder there’s hunger to invest. But at this pace, strategic marketers must ask themselves a few questions. Social Commerce: A Moment or a Permanent Shift? Three major drivers are affecting the moment we’re living in: Time spent: Today, there are 4.5 billion people using social media — that’s more than half the world’s population.Content: With so much to see, do and learn, average daily time spent on social media is now 2.5 hours.Payments: Driven mostly by millennials and Gen Z, 2 billion people now use mobile wallets. As these behaviors shift, so do expectations with more shoppers seeking: Convenience: Research shows that 82 perfect of shoppers like how quick and easy it is to shop on social media, while 71 percent say they prefer to buy immediately after viewing content rather than switching to a retail site.Inspiration: 60 percent of users say they’ve discovered a product via social feeds, and 55 percent were moved to buy.Validation: Heavily influenced by community, 70 percent of people who watched livestreams hosted by an influencer say they were “highly likely” to buy the products recommended. While traditional e-commerce is calculated, self-prompted, and often cumbersome, social commerce is spontaneous. It allows you to be inspired in the moment and to buy without leaving the experience you’re in. Related story: Authenticity, Social Commerce Spur D-to-C Brand ZOX’s Growth What Are Social Platforms Getting...