It pays to be social


It pays to be social

We are in the midst of a generational change in how and where consumers make purchases. A significant number of millennials now almost exclusively purchase through online channels, and in recent years their parents and grandparents have caught up. As online channel sales continue to flow, this Retail postcard takes a look at the brands reaping the benefits from impactful movements on social media. 

With market penetration of smartphones and tablets close to maturity in developed markets, online channel sales are surging and retailers are reassessing their traditional sales channels and exploring digital spaces.

'Gram sale 'Gram sale

Instagram – once just a photo-sharing app for hipsters and tech-savvy photographers – is now a crucial medium to reach consumers. With over 600 million active monthly users, retailers are embracing Instagram to engage with consumers and market their products. Instagram’s design puts the focus squarely on the showcased product and encourages users to follow, share and discuss the content. And with group discussion and content sharing through #hashtags, users easily find themselves ‘down the rabbit hole’, shifting between brand and user-generated content.

One retailer leading the Instagram charge is Omega. The watch company, founded in 1903, recently “went rogue”, as described by one competitor, and took to Instagram like never before. Having learnt loyal consumers were paying tribute to their Speedmaster model every Tuesday on Instagram by posting photos using the hashtag #SpeedyTuesday. Omega responded by launching an exclusive sale via their Instagram channel.


SOURCE: Instagram @omega

Followers of Omega’s Instagram account were given access to a hidden page on their website where a limited-edition Speedmaster could be purchased. Not only was this the first time the watch company retailed a product on social media, but also the first time consumers could purchase directly from their website.

The sale went ‘gangbusters’

All 2,012 watches available were sold within four hours and those who missed out could only leave their details on a waitlist (an additional win for Omega collecting customer data).

Up Periscope

As technology progresses, so must retailers. Their approach to engaging consumers requires diversity, and it is imperative they stay in touch with developing technology. The most recent advancement in smartphones and internet speeds have cultivated the use of video streaming.

Over the last 12 months, streaming video consumption in Australia has increased by 10% and streaming videos on a smartphone has risen 14.6%. Consumers are increasingly viewing video content across multiple devices including smartphones, tablets, computers. This spike in usage is particularly strong amongst those aged between 18-24, giving retailers the perfect opportunity to target this segment.

Myer Persicope

SOURCE: Periscope @myer

Recently Myer took to Periscope (Twitter’s live video streaming application) to, broadcast the debut of their Autumn/Winter collection. This gave more than 100,000 consumers an up close and personal catwalk show.

Periscopes’ perfect combination of GPS coordinates, video cameras and replay on one platform, gave consumers around the world a front row seat to the show and an opportunity to engage with Myer via the commentary function.

With over 13 million Australians watching stream video each month, (and growing) retailers can use technology to get some of those eyes on their brand and products.

The evolution of consumer engagement

Best practice retailers are continually evolving the way they market and sell their products through social media platforms to drive customer engagement.

According to Gallup research, customers who are fully engaged represent a 23% premium in profitability and revenue compared with the average customer and companies with strong engagement strategies retain an average of 89% of their customers, according to Aberdeen Group.

In other words, by engaging with consumers, retailers hit the jackpot: increased spend and higher retention rates.

In a digital world, it pays to be social.

How can we help?

Our retail team has a track record of providing retailers and consumer brands with pragmatic strategic advice, meaningful performance improvement initiatives and customer insights based on data analytics.

If you would like to have a further discussion, please contact one of our retail specialists listed below. 


Number of monthly active Instagram users from January 2013 to December 2016 (in millions) (Statista)

Watch companies like Omega find new strategies such as Instagram to sell models (AFR)

Social Media Phenomenon Inspires New Omega Speedmaster, First To Be Sold On Internet (Forbes)

Online Video (Regional TAM, OzTAM, Nielsen)

Australian Retail Outlook 2017 (Azurium)

Customer Engagement Stats for 2016 (SessionCam)