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Quirk's Marketing Research Review

The social side of brick-and-mortar retail

Tips for brands that want to boost their shareability on social media.


Article ID: 20190609 Published: June/July 2019 Authors: Brad Fay,Ed Keller


When marketers today hear the word “social” or ponder what it takes to be a social brand, they usually think about online media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. But America’s physical, brick-and-mortar retail stores are extremely social places, too, and provide marketers with myriad social marketing opportunities.

According to data from Engagement Labs, nearly 900 million times every week somebody in America is in a conversation about brands while in a store. That’s more than three times per week for every American adult and these in-store conversations can be pivotal in helping consumers decide which brand they pull off retail shelves, given their proximity to the actual purchase decision. While private homes are the overwhelmingly dominant location of consumer conversations, at 69 percent of the total, over 6 percent of all such conversations happen in stores, nearly as many conversations that happen at work (8 percent).

Our firm’s TotalSocial platform has been measuring online and offline consumer conversations and their impact on business for more than a decade. Three quarters of in-store conversations happen face-to-face, whether with a shopping companion, a store employee or stranger. One in five happen over the phone (13 percent) or via text message (7 percent), perhaps reflecting a “phone-a-friend” instinct when faced with a tricky choice in a shopping aisle. Another 4 percent happen by social media or e-mail. Face-to-face conversations are more prevalent among women, while men are more apt to use social media and e-mail while in store.



Read the full Quirk's article, here.

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