Apparently watching as countless social media tools for e-merchants have flooded the market over the last year or so has convinced the folks over at ShopLocal.com that their brick and mortar partners are at a competitive disadvantage and need some help in that arena.
The Gannett (GCI) subsidiary has just announced the release of the ShopLocal Facebook digital marketing suite, a tool that will help local merchants add circulars, advertisements and promotions to their existing corporate Facebook fan pages.
The suite essentially brings the components of the local weekly circular that so many shoppers have come to rely on directly to Facebook, complete with a “deals” tab and widgets and targeted ads that will connect consumers regardless of whether they shop online or in-store.
“Our digital marketing suite brings Facebook users great deals from their favorite brands and givesretailers the ability to easily scale social marketing efforts on a site that just secured its 500 millionth active user and where consumers spend, on average, 7 billion minutes each day,” said Vikram Sharma, CEO of ShopLocal, in the company press release. “We know that 49 percent of visitors to corporate fan pages go there to gain information on sales and special offers and another 45 percent come to learn about products. ShopLocal’s toolkit helps retailers across the country capitalize on this social shopping phenomenon.”
Already, CVS, Michaels, JC Penny, Staples, Sports Authority, True Value and Walgreens are just a few of the leading national retailers that have signed on to be part of the new ShopLocal offering.
Some of the components included in the digital marketing suite:
-Product Deal Tabs: highlight and display popular product deals based on a Facebook user’s gender, location and other profile information, which users can “like” or comment on;
-Fan Widgets: help build a retailer’s fan base and can be placed on any website with updated promotions and/or sales to drive traffic additional traffic;
-Facebook Ads: contextually relevant, targeted banners display ads;
-Customization Options: allows for quick integration directly into a merchant’s Facebook fan page complete with personalized look and feel options.
With ShopLocal now in the mix, there’s no denying just how vital retailers of every type view the importance of social media. While many of the options offered mirror those already on the market with other similar applications, it’s interesting to see this kind of tool now being designed for, and sought after by, traditional brick and mortar retailers. Could it be a sign that web and mobile commerce is going to overtake traditional storefronts sooner and more completely than expected?
Leave us your thoughts and comments below!