The Way We Communicate Online Has Changed: Gupta

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July 3 (Bloomberg) -- Curalate CEO and Founder Apu Gupta discusses online retailing with Erik Schatzker on Bloomberg Television's "Market Makers." (Source: Bloomberg)

Instagram -- use pinterest and instagram.

The way we are communicating online has changed.

We communicate with pictures rather than words.

Even on facebook and tumblr and snap cap, they are becoming these rising networks.

Brands have to understand this language.

The first thing brands like neiman marcus and the gap are doing is getting in tune with what is it people are speaking about when they speak in this language.

Are they just active on the sites themselves?

Listening alone is boring.

You have to be a good conversationalist.

Our brands use our tools to understand not only what people are saying but to actually participate in those conversations and form good relationships with those fans.

What kind of level of engagement is required before a transaction takes place?

That's all the retailer cares about.

A brand cares about recognition, but they want to drive sales.

What is important about these new social networks is it's the first time we are moving from people and places to things trade on these networks, we are actually talking, not just liking the brands, we are loving the specific products the brand makes.

We love the shirts and the genes that the gap sells.

When you tune into that, you can start to make smart decisions.

How does your company help neiman marcus turn those likes and conversations into a sale?

There are some broad ways that a brand like neiman marcus would use.

One would be visual merchandising.

If i know people really care about this handbag, i can start to use that image in a much smarter way.

I can bring it into the store and showcase it in smart ways or bring it on the website and showcase it in a smart way or bring it into an e-mail campaign.

To leverage that powerfully is a big deal.

Display advertising, taking an image resonating for fans and bringing it into a display ad drives up the click through's. the final way is social engagement.

Being able to put the right things in the social conversation gets people back to your site.

I wonder if social media ever sends false signals?

Retail managers do such a good job of managing their inventories, doesn't this disrupt that and confuse things a bit?

The reality is understanding what people aspire to own is just as important of understanding what they click through to on your site.

We have never had a good way to understand intent before.

Most e-commerce folks understand what's going on on the site, focusing on the transaction). we see intense correlations between what ends up getting sold and how.

How reflective of the tastes and patterns of behavior of the general population is what we see on social media?

237,000 followers on instagram -- it's not going to make or break neiman marcus.

It needs to sell to a larger number than that.

Social media are at times criticized for being an echo chamber.

Is what you see on social media what the rest of the country is like?

I think the bigger criticism of social media is that we get too focused on vanity metrics.

But as statistics would indicate, once the sample size is large enough, it becomes a good roxy for the population as a whole.

What is a good sample size?

I am personally not a statistician and i would like to know what that key test would tell us.

I know we learned about this in business school but it was not my strongest subject.

I've got a great team for that.

I think it's going to vary by brand and product.

You have enough engagement of an individual product to be relevant.

A classic manager.

This text has been automatically generated. It may not be 100% accurate.

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