LAST WORD: Get Connected

28 Oct, 14

Group e-commerce Manager for Heritage Bathrooms Bill Wilson says retailers make use of social media

The digital landscape has inarguably changed the outlook of the bathroom market, with the explosion of social media as well as the shift in consumer buying habits to online, but retailers need to make sure that they are using social channels to influence shoppers by helping them discover new products to buy. It can be time consuming to continually monitor social channels and there is a question mark over whether investment in such activity will directly drive sales for retailers, but, investing in your digital footprint now, can lead to more footfall through the showroom door.

There are over 400 social media platforms available, and Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest are among the most popular social media networks consumers use. Plus, with 67% of all internet users being active on social media it’s clear that the opportunity to engage with a captive audience is huge. Plus, with further research showing 45% of UK customers use social networks in-store, plus a further 57% access online customer reviews – it has never been more vital for retailers to find ways to drive consumers to their sites.

Understand your audience

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Spending time investing and getting to know what our audience want, and react to, has been key for the Heritage Bathrooms channels. For example, our targeted social media campaign surrounding the BBC show ‘The Great Interior Design Challenge’ was a focused activity that allowed us to influence the influencers and create new brand ambassadors. Through live tweeting we were able to engage with interior designers while the show was on air. We then further approached contestants Lynne Lambourne and Charmaine White to secure exclusive inspirational blogs to feature on and increase our following by 49%. By utilising our social and online channels to not shout at consumers, but interact with like-minded people, exchange ideas and information and help and share content – we could then, using the engagement that had been established, influence them with our inspirational product range.

Interact and engage

We interact with many of our retailers via social channels to help support the growth of their audience, and we further encourage the sharing of our blogs, or our ‘Tuesday Tips’ from freelance stylist Anna Morley. Utilising digital content that already exists from brands like us really can help to attract new customers. Industry research shows that recommendations from a trusted source such as a friend or expert holds significantly more sway with consumers and can catapult them to purchase. So, though a click on social media might not provide an immediate sale, consumer insight data revealing that people are more likely to purchase products from brands they are engaging with on digital channels is a clear business case for tapping into the digital world.

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