Callcredit Blog

Digital Ghost Town

Digital Services

In last week’s blog post some UK high street names came up including Jessops, Blockbuster and HMV.  Add to this Comet and you’ll see that most of these websites have now been replaced with ‘administrator slates’ of one form or another whilst the final fate of each business is decided.

Many industry commentators speculate that they all went the same way because they failed to recognise the importance of online and the need to connect it with their high street outlets.  Remaining high street retailers sill face significant challenges.

But what about the social domains for each of these ‘suspended’ businesses?  What about all those committed followers built up over time which have now be seen frozen in time.  The numbers – not trivial – are there for all to see:

These three are not the only retailers to have built up reasonable social audiences. But how did the brands engage with their followers?  Might there have been another way that may have led to a different outcome?  We’ll never know, but my bet’s that many high street retailers have attracted a good social following and are not making the most of it.  In one case recently, a company I met was sitting on an audience of over 1.5m followers on one network alone but was not tapping into it as part of its search for more paying customers.  Having followers and advocacy alone is just not enough without purchase.

There is now an opportunity for a new generation of management and marketers to connect online – social and digital – with offline to give consumers the experience that will make them purchase more and more rather than less and less.

Author: Paul Kennedy

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