Have you considered selling on social media as part of your strategy? Social media for many of us is part of daily life – Brands embracing this to maximise engagement have until quite recently done so with the view that this will drive sales to their website or bricks & mortar stores and build brand loyalty.

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Last week we learned that Pinterest was launching a brand new shopping feature that actually links to ‘pinned’ images on to the product pages of a website.

Until now retailers have considered building their brands identity on social media channels and it has not been considered to be commercial etiquette to sell, as this approach could put off potential customers and they could stop following the brand entirely and be lost to other brands – bringing and retaining the customer on a brands’ journey is one of the biggest challenges.

We are increasingly finding that in current tough trading on the high street, growth of online retaling and the rise of brand ambassadors and influencers, social media is becoming a shopping environment that savvy retailers simply cannot ignore.

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In our experience there is a fine balance between selling and promoting on social media channels and it would be short-sighted to believe that any social media platform will alone increase sales for a brand. This goes back to having a clear brand strategy in place, unique identity and handwriting/tone of voice and adding value to the customer. Your customers will feel connected and this joined up marketing strategy will ensure you achieve your goal.

In terms of Pinterest, this social media platform has historically allowed users to grow ‘mood boards’ virtually and has previously had a reputation for the creation of project boards for interiors and weddings rather than promoting fashion. The new selling feature is an interesting departure for Pinterest and many fashion brands will embrace this new feature to capitalise on the opportunity to sell from the platform.

This could be exciting for SME’s to grow their audiences too and will appeal to users who do not have the time to plan a constant stream of Instagram or Shapchat stories but could curate and edit images reflecting their brand profile at a slower more measured pace, building new customers over time and selling product directly from the platform.

For both multiple and independent retailers this new feature reflects a wider change in social media platforms and trends and one that they should not ignore.

You can read more about the creation of brand strategies on the Retail Inspired blog.

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