Selling in the Age of Selfies: What Retailers Can Learn From Independent Business Owners
The days of selling housewares to friends and neighbors from the living room via catalog ordering forms or trekking door-to-door with a suitcase full of products have all but disappeared. In a world in which smartphones are a natural extension of our hands and human connection is measured by followers on social media, a Facebook message from an old college friend or a former co-worker is the proverbial knock at your door, offering you a chance to engage with products that range from knives to skin care and everything in between.
This increasingly online and digital-first retail environment is just ramping up and not unique to direct selling. From mom-and-pop Etsy shops to omnichannel Wal-Mart strategies, selling must keep up with the constantly surging digital wave and consumer expectations. Reaching consumers on the social channels where they live is certainly no exception.
A recent LinkedIn study, “The State of Sales 2016,” revealed that more than 70 percent of sales professionals use social selling tools, including LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, making them the most widely used sales channels. However, knowing how to appropriately tap into their power isn’t always as understood. Given these tools originated for personal communication, it’s not surprising that individual business owners are savvy about wielding them for commerce and can teach bigger retail organizations a thing or two about social selling.