HOW TO: drive shoppers into physical stores using social

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Do you work in retail? Does the word 'multichannel' feature in your title or your job spec? Then you probably spend every working hour figuring out how to harmonise your online and offline offerings: developing strategies, finding synergies and delivering sales across channels.

But I bet you've ignored social - especially when it comes to using social to deliver sales instore.

Don't worry. It's not too late to start, and we're going to give you some fuss-free ideas any retailer can implement which are guaranteed to make a real difference. Sounds good? Then, let's go...

We’ve all seen how social can dramatically expand reach, decrease acquisition costs and drive sales (just flick through this blog for 1001 examples). And social is, essentially, a digital medium - so it makes a certain amount of sense that it should be used to guide potential customers to digital destinations. But only using social to power e-commerce is like only using your car to drive to streets beginning with vowels: a massive underuse of available resources.

Of course, if you do want to use social to help your physical offering, you need to focus on footfall. Footfall is everything in the world of


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HMV's £50m social-commerce turnaround plan

HMV’s £50m Social-Commerce Turnaround

It's not often we're treated to a bona fide good news story in retail, but Hilco's rescue buyout of HMV most definitely qualifies. First, Hilco have an excellent track record with these things and, secondly, hopefully some of HMV's amazing team will be retained to help paddle the boat back upstream. I worked at HMV for a short time and, take it from me, some of the people there are the most extraordinary, passionate and gifted folk working in retail today. We wish them the best of luck.

But - and you knew there'd be a "but", right? - if HMV wants to rise from these ashes, some pretty critical things have to change. And we're not convinced that refocusing on music and entertainment is the be-all-and-end-all solution some people are suggesting (remember: HMV was forced to trade in tech and other lifestyle items because entertainment was effectively being sold as a loss-leader by its rivals). Nor is some mad dash to catch up with old technology the answer. It's easy to say that HMV missed the boat with ecommerce and downloads, but that's not strictly true: for every Spotify, HMV had an HMV Jukebox. For every Blinkbox, it had


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