Rakuten Play.com has reported to Internet Retailing magazine that it expects social media to heavily influence Christmas shopping decisions this year, having seen a marked increase in social media referrals.
Emerging social network Pinterest is driving significant a volume of traffic towards the retailer’s online site, it was revealed. This is in addition to recommendations from traditional social networks, with Facebook now driving 80 per cent more customers to the site. What’s more, Play.com note that customers who engage with the brand via social media go on to spend 24 per cent more on average.
Despite this profitable opportunity, the rise of social media referrals also creates a challenge for retailers this Christmas. Brands which perform poorly in terms of social media customer service may find themselves faced with a backlash of negative customer sentiment on social media, deterring other customers from purchasing the brand’s products or services.
As a result, retailers must ensure they have an efficient social customer interaction management system in place to deal with any queries or complaints that arise in a timely and helpful manner. This allows the brand to create a profile of each individual customer’s history with the brand, including details of any previous interactions and purchases, to deliver a more personalised response.
This CIM system should not be limited to social media though. Individuals who experience poor customer service on an alternative channel, such as telephone or email, may also turn to social media to vent their frustration, given the public nature of the channel. The most effective CIM systems will therefore draw information from all communication channels, traditional and new. This enables the brand to continue an ongoing conversation to resolve an issue, even in cases where customers move between channels.