Social Media and In Store Sales: The Value of Social for Brick and Mortar Stores

Social Media and In Store Sales: The Value of Social for Brick and Mortar Stores

I was recently tasked by another social media blog to look at the Twitter account of Dunkin’ Donuts. I worked through it by looking at their Twitter account, checking connections between social and web profiles, reading tweets, and viewing images from them and their fans.

Then it hit me: I really wanted a donut from Dunkin. This got me thinking about how social media and in store sales really impact one another because you can’t buy donuts online (or you shouldn’t, how will you judge freshness?).

I’m going to focus on that aspect of social media and in store sales by showing you:

  • Stats on in store purchases resulting from social media
  • How retailers can connect their social media and their store

This will help you understand the connection of social media and in store sales, and the connection between Dunkin’ Donuts Twitter account and my stomach.

In store purchase numbers resulting directly from social media

It has been shown that despite our increasingly digital world, more than 94% of purchases made in the USA are made in stores, not online. Connecting social media to actual sales in your store may be difficult given that few cashiers are going to ask customers ‘so, did you find us on Twitter?’

There are tests you can run, such as having a Twitter exclusive contest with a digital coupon code, but what about all the other digital marketing you do that isn’t directly related to a sale or coupon?

Twitter wanted to know the answers to these questions so they worked with a company called Datalogix who specialize in this sort of data gathering. The study looked at a number of different product categories from food, to wellness products, to alcohol and household products.

What they found was direct correlation between a successful Twitter account, with a large Twitter following that could be thanks to our followers service, and sales increasing with each successful social media campaign.

Correlation between Promoted tweets, organic tweets, and in store sales

First, they looked at Promoted tweet campaigns. They found a 12% rise in sales when users engaged with the promoted tweet against a control group who did not see it. For those who simply saw the promoted tweet, but did not interact with it, there was a 2% rise in sales.

Screen Shot 2014-08-12 at 1.58.30 PM

Organic tweets are the other, and most common, form of messaging over Twitter. Against a control group, it was found that there was an 8% rise in sales versus those who did not see any tweets from that brand. When Twitter users saw 5 or more organic tweets during the measurement period, results were almost 3 times higher – close to 24% more sales just from organic tweeting!

To look at some broader statistics, Vision Critical has found that 40% of all social media users have made a purchase, either online or in store, after sharing or engaging with some piece of content on Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter. Nearly half of the people you interact with via social media will purchase something from you.

Connecting your social media and in store activity

One of the biggest challenges for a retail store is seeing for themselves just how social media and in store sales can really impact their business. The stats above are nice to read, but what about your store and the people coming into it every day?

A tactic taken by Nordstrom involves identifying their most pinned content on Pinterest and giving it special in store marking that mentions Pinterest. This has helped them:

  1. Identify the products that are most popular with their users
  2. Single the products out so they’re easy to find
  3. Increase brand engagement as people take photos of the items they’ve been lusting over online, and share these photos with friends

This is a step that your brick and mortar store needs to take. Connecting your real world store to your virtual social media channel is essential if you want to start seeing the two connect at the cash register – and you want to make more sales, right? You can follow these tips, as well as use our Pinterest likes service to increase your profile.

Connecting social media and in store sales via events

Another strategy to look at beyond your products is events. Creating a brand event, such as a sale, can link easily with your social media by way of a hashtag. Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram all use hashtags to organize conversations. That’s three chances for you to connect your store and your social media.

How you will work with the event in connection with your goal of linking social media and in store sales is by having a hashtag for the event itself. Advertise it in advance on social media. On the day of the event have signs up in your store encouraging people to use the hashtag.

This helps build the direct dialogue between your store and your social media that is essential for truly making them connected, and to help drive those statistics discussed above even higher. The more you treat social media like any other aspect of your business, rather than this ethereal thing that floats off in cyberspace, the more results you’ll see in store.

Here’s an example of a store keeping it real and relatable during an in store sale at their own store via a tweet:

Feature image by Open Clips.
Cash register from Wikimedia Commons.
Sale by Paul.

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