With their own established customer communities, who more likely than not shop at the same location on a regular basis, supermarkets are naturals for utilizing social media as a marketing and sales tool. Some thoughts…
1. First and foremost, the abilities and rapid growth of smartphones, Digital coupons, product information, announcements, store layouts – as new users become more familiar with the devices, the functionality will only increase. The ability to have a customer in-store alongside the product being sold offers unlimited sales opportunities
2. Along the lines of the above, whether you have a mobile app in the pipeline or not, a mobile browser-friendly site should be set up as soon as possible.
3. The ease in which Twitter lends itself as a great customer service tool, allowing fast response and immediate postings for store-related information.
4. As a follow-up to in-store events (cooking class, for example.) gaining feedback and engaging in online dialogues with participants enhances community and reveals valuable information.
5. A corporate blog allows senior execs to discuss their industry, puts a human face on corporate and encourages customer involvement, nurturing community.
6. Since that good old paper receipt is always a take away, it can also be used to promote the store’s social media platforms and uses.
More likely than not, incorporating a social media strategy in the supermarket, will be new for company and customer alike. Customer input will be needed because not all of the elements will work. The nature of social media will allow easy revision of strategy, to accommodate the customer. Also important will be an ongoing awareness of emerging technologies and their potential value for future use. Yet, with all this new work – from creating a new department to educating the consumer – becoming a tech-savvy supermarket can only be a plus for its’ reputation.