How the Big Boys Chase Innovation
In regards to its social media and mobile efforts, 1-800-Flowers.com has launched Celebrations.com, a pure content site designed to engage consumers while subtly introducing its brand. Understand the strengths of each social media platform, Siegel said, noting that 1-800-Flowers.com uses Facebook for marketing and Twitter for customer service purposes. The company also offers apps on BlackBerry, iPhone and Android mobile phones.
“Have dedicated ownership of your social media efforts,” Siegel said, “and provide content driven by what your customers want.”
Three Perspective View
Best Buy's biggest advantage is that it can learn from the mass of customers and employees it has, said Mosiniak. To that end, senior management views the company from three perspectives — shareholders’, customers’ and employees’. For example, to better serve customers, the company has instituted an “In-Store Walk Out Working” program, where it sets up customers’ BlackBerry phones before they leave the store, ensuring the proper user experience.
Another example of Best Buy's commitment to innovation and serving its customers is a service that it's created to save/replace software stored on phones (e.g., phone numbers, text messages, pictures, videos), which consumers most often complained about when their phones were broken.
To tap into employees’ knowledge, Best Buy has launched Twelp Force, a service where employees offer tech advice to consumers on Twitter. Blur the lines between customer service and marketing, said Mosiniak. Best Buy does this with tips and tricks’ videos on its website. For example, an employee may post a video on how to use all the capabilities of a smartphone.
Personalization, Relevance, Solutions
These three words represent Dell's vision for e-commerce, said Tarleton. With an online presence in 166 countries, Dell serves a diverse and widespread customer base. To make their experiences as personal as possible, Dell's website is available in 134 languages. It was also one of the first companies to launch online communities and online support, and creates interactions with its customers where they are — e.g., Twitter.