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The Retailer’s Need-to-Know Guide to Digital

Digital changes so quickly, from Flappy Birds to WhatsApp here is a breakdown of some of the latest digital news. 

Digital News for RetailersDigital News for Retailers

Digital is a fickle lady. Once, her siren song called for a website for your store. But that was not enough for her and soon every retailer needed a Facebook page. Now retailers must also consider Pinterest and Instagramand the list goes on. Plus, retailers need to keep up to date on digital news in general and understand how it impacts their businesses.

But who has time for all of this? To help you stay current, we’ve gathered a roundup of digital news relevant to retailers. This is a quick read, put together to get you up to speed quickly and then back to the business at hand—running your business!

Holy Digital Return on Investment!
A new Nielsen study has revealed that digital ROI has been historically undervalued. In fact ROI from Facebook ads may be undervalued by as much as 48%! What this means for retailers: Digital is important for your business and it will pay off to keep an eye out for affordable digital opportunities, like Facebook ads.

WhatsApp. What’s that?
The big news for Facebook is that they just bought WhatsApp for $19 billion dollars (with a B!). Once we recovered from sticker shock,many of us started asking—what exactly is WhatsApp? The short answer is that it’s a messenger platform that allows mobile to mobile messaging without any SMS fees. Basically it would allow users to text message each other for free.    What this means for retailers: It’s signaling that Facebook is building a “House of Brands” centered on connecting people in the digital sphere that could lead to new ways of advertising your store.

Welcome to: YouTube Nation
The recently launched YouTube Nation channel features 5-minute episodes each day highlighting the best videos on YouTube. In less than a month the channel as accrued over 371K subscribers and shows how YouTube is starting to blur the lines between content hosting, content curation and content creation. More channels such as YTN Sport and YTN Music are planned to follow in mid-2014. What this means for retailers: If you’re already making videos for your store keep your eye out for YTN DIY or YTN Home Décor – a feature on one of these channels could mean a lot of hits to your page and even more customers in your door!

Retail Trends in Digital
Big retailers like Target and Walmart can start digital trends for retail. While it doesn’t make sense to try and emulate their every step, it’s a good idea to know where they are going. For example, in an intriguing move to hop on the Flappy Bird craze, Target is partnering with brands to develop mobile games to launch products or promote in-store events. On another trend, Nordstrom’s is bringing digital offline by tagging products popular on Pinterest with a Pinterest logo in store. What this means for retailers: While you may not be building the next Flappy Bird anytime soon, you can think about how to creatively partner with the brands you sell—and also how to tell your customers which products you carry are most popular online.

There are all kinds of trends in digital and many retailers are using social media and other digital assets in new and unique ways. If you’ve spotted a digital trend that other retailers should know about, please share it with us in the comments below!


Melrose International is an industry leader in wholesale home décor, giftware, and seasonal items. Providing outstanding products, service, design, and value since 1985!

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