Where Does Social Media Fit Into Retail?

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Dec. 24 (Bloomberg) – Booz and Co. Chief Retail Strategist Thom Blischok discusses social media and retail on Bloomberg Television's "In The Loop." (Source: Bloomberg)

Instagram.

You happen to buy things that you see on social media that other people like.

Is this really any different than facebook?

I think a little bit.

The idea of what pinterest is doing is very powerful from a perspective of helping you create your page around what your preferences are.

I have seen this year on facebook a very interesting change.

That has been, for example, my daughter put up her wish list for her friends for their own christmas party.

That was a unique twist.

How so?

I had not expected that kind of christmas gifting to go as public as it did.

What was interesting to me was that by posting that, it was interesting how her friends responded.

What i also saw on social media, in the stores, a tremendous amount of twittering about different types of products people were buying.

Here is where i am going.

A few years ago when facebook started to take off and people were -- products or certain things were being liked.

How is that any better or worse than what is going on now with pinterest?

It is really downgraded by pictures.

-- it is really dominated by pictures.

Is that preferred by his misses because it is driven via visuals versus something like facebook -- is that preferred by his mrs.

Because it is chosen via visuals -- is that preferred by businesses.

We are a very visual society.

Being able to see has made a difference in the shopping experience.

Have businesses, target and small businesses, figure this out?

Do they know more women are on pinterest.

On instagram, it is more young adults.

Has that differentiation come out?

The large retailers have figured it out dirty effectively.

Smaller retailers are still struggling.

-- pretty effectively.

Smaller retailers are still struggling.

We are still in the early stages.

2014 might be the year of shopper communication.

Thom, thank you.

Chief retail strategist.

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