In 2008, holiday retail sales amounted to approximately $245 billion, a decline of about 2.8% from 2007 sales. … Based upon the above observations, Anthony L. Liuzzo forecast’s that holiday retail sales will increase by 2% in 2009 (from the HOLIDAY RETAIL SALES FORECAST: 2009 so retailers anxious to capture a greater share of the holiday wallet are turning to Social Media to increase sales.
The New York Times article, Buying, Selling and Twittering All the Way says “Many people use it to send mundane updates to their friends, but increasingly, the nation’s retailers see it as a business tool.
It gives customers a practical way to cajole a retailer, complain about something or ask questions.”
Other quotes from major retail chains include:
“It’s one of the greatest emerging communication channels out there,” said Greg Ahearn, senior vice president of marketing and e-commerce for Toys “R” Us. “This is a way people can stay connected with the brand in a way they’ve never been able to before.”
“It’s 24-hour access to our employees,” said Brad Smith, director of interactive marketing and emerging media for Best Buy. The Twelpforce had fielded about 25,000 questions even before gearing up for Thanksgiving weekend.
Pete Blackshaw’s article in Advertising Age, What Best Buy Learned About Service as Marketing and Empowering Employees notes the servive Twitter user has 15,000 followers and how Twelpforce tops his 2009 list for breakthrough holistic marketing
Elephantear’s perspective is that for Retailers, Twitter should be ascending its use as a opt-in marketing communications channel to a true bi-directional communications mechanism between marketer and consumer.