When I say "on board" I'm not referring to the 200,000 or so "likes" designers like Diane von Furstenberg have on her page. I'm talking about real retail transactions, people. Like buying stuff and shiz. In all seriousness, in the past four years I've listened to retail C-levels drone on about how social media is changing the way their customers shop. However, everytime I sit through these presentations, earnings calls and convos over drinks I've never heard an actionable plan put in place. Now that Facebook has gone public topping out (there is still an hour or so to this trading day) at a $104 Billion valuation, retailers finally have a reason to get a plan together- and quick. This piece on Racked pretty much spells it out. Here are four main reasons for retailers to take this IPO seriously: 1) Hello, acquisitions!: Now that Facebook has a ton of CASH on the books and a keen interest in world wide domination, the next step is for it to start snapping up companies to help make this happen. Instagram is super cool, but so is a technology company that can help facilitate customer engagement, aggregate sales or customer feedback.
2)Advertising: With over 500 million + users, retailers would be dumb not to want to try and target new and returning customers. However there is one sticking point: do you actually click on those ads when they come up? My survey says: NO.
3) People will actually BUY stuff via facebook recommendations: Did you know $JWN has close to 1.5 million likes on facebook? And department stores are banking on the notion those "likes" will translate into sales. Personally just because my little sister likes something doesn't mean I am going to like it enough to buy it, but that's just me.
4) Bigger than just social media: Retail technology companies are actually building their technologies on the Facebook PLATFORM. Why is that a big deal? Because 15 years ago, the same companies were building it on the Microsoft platform. Crazy, right?