Alexander Schwartz

Hey all you tweeters, we’ve got some big news: For the last few weeks, Retail Online Integration has been running a group Twitter discussion called #ROIChat, looping in the latest trends and most profitable practices in the world of retail. Our friends over at Dealerscope, who focus on the consumer technology side of retailing, took notice of all the fun we were having and asked if they could get in on the action. We couldn’t think of a better partner for #ROIChat.

It might sound tempting to set up shop across multiple social media networks, but if even one of these accounts is neglected or mismanaged there’s a chance that you may be doing more harm than good for your business. According to the 2012 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, 85 percent of all businesses that have a dedicated social media platform as part of their marketing strategy reported an increase in their market exposure. Which social media platform do you predominantly use for your business and why? 

Black Friday, traditionally one of the busiest shopping days of the year, is nearing. Big-box stores are going to have to deal with “showrooming” — i.e., when in-store shoppers use their smartphones to identify cheaper deals online and then make their purchases elsewhere. What can retailers do to offset the effect of showrooming during Black Friday?"

Welcome friends to #ROIChat, a weekly Twitter discussion looping in the latest trends and most profitable practices in the world of retail. The holidays are fast approaching, and most brands by now have a clear marketing plan for the busy months ahead. You can bet that social media is going to play a big role for most retailers this holiday season.

Most retailers today have developed mobile-optimized websites that perform the same functions as their desktop counterparts. Personally, I like shopping via a mobile browser because it gives me the option to open up multiple tabs to compare prices, styles and whatever else I need to look at before purchasing the perfect pair of pants that may or may not fit. Is a well-designed and functional mobile site enough for retailers, or have stand-alone apps become a necessity in this ever-expanding mobile world?

Tadashi Yanai, CEO of Uniqlo’s parent company, Fast Retailing, is incorporating technology not just into the promotions of his company’s products, but also into the products themselves. Uniqlo partners with high-tech suppliers to develop clothes made from fabrics like HeatTech, which “creates heat to warm you up and keep you warm.” Uniqlo’s technical approach to fashion has made it one of the most successful retailers in the world. Will Uniqlo’s success have an affect on the future of retail?

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