45,000 fans; and incorporate occasion-specific information about their purchase
into their newsfeeds.
“We’re always looking at interesting
ways to engage our shoppers via new
technologies. (The ‘Like it’ feature on
Facebook) is a great opportunity for
E-retailers to test what consumers are re-acting to the most,” Ranford says.
Shah adds that social-networking sites
are not just places to push products, but
also a source of informal conversation between consumers and 1800Flowers.com.
“We see (the sites) as a place where
users have a voice and say,” Shah says.
“It’s not just about trying to move a product. We want to make our users feel like
they have a point of interaction outside of
the sales transaction. It’s great because it
allows us to bring all the parties involved
into that conversation.”
Online Consumer Interaction
Drives Offline Response
Lion Brand Yarn, a 133-year-old
brand that sells to consumers and retailers around the country such as Michael’s,
Wal-Mart and Jo-Ann’s Fabric and Crafts
Stores, also believes much of its E-commerce marketing is about customer relations, rather than hard sales. Lion Brand
Yarn maintains a company Web site,
Natalie Zee Drieu, Craftzine.com
Though Lion Brand Yarn maintains a
physical store in New York, E-commerce is a
major focus of its marketing. The brand uses
its Web site and social media to drive sales
at retailers who purchase its yarn, as well as
to encourage positive customer relations.
blog, Flickr profile, weekly E-newsletter,
podcast, You Tube channel and Facebook
page that it consistently interacts with
consumers through, says Ilana Rabinowitz, vice president of marketing.
“Our E-commerce is more about
helping people find products they can’t
find elsewhere. Customer engagement
is really critical to us, that’s the way we
see ourselves as being able to help those
customers standing in the aisle at an actual retail location, looking at relatively
undifferentiated products,” Rabinowitz
says. “That’s how we stand out because
we’ve talked to them directly, answered
their questions and even congratulated
them on a project they’ve completed and