Future Of Retail: Social Currency

Future Of Retail: Social Currency

Retailers are rethinking the value of a shopper based on the history and potential of that individual’s spend and also on the influence of their social graphs.

Piers Fawkes, PSFK
  • 8 august 2011

In our research for PSFK’s Future of Retail report, our consulting team realized that retailers are re-evaluating the value of a shopper based not only on the history and potential of that individual’s spend—but also on that individual’s ability to spread marketing messaging through their respective social graphs. In an effort to leverage this new metric for rating customers, stores are providing preferential services to these individuals in exchange for their ability to influence their peers.


Special Treatment Based On A Guest’s Social Influence

Online Retailer Lets People Buy In Exchange For Social Media Sharing

Rewarding Peer Influence With Targeted Coupons

Reward Points As Social Currency

Connected Shopping Experience Tailors Rewards To Shoppers’ Interest

Start-up Converts Social Media ‘Likes’ Into Rewards


Brands and retailers alike must provide consumers with the tools to share and spread their enthusiasm for products. Sharing creates ripples of desire that normally would be trapped inside the walls of your retail footprint.

–Katie Dreke, Global Head of Digital Concepts, adidas

Brands can make the most of the authentic and trusted endorsements generated by their followers by providing incentives for these individuals to share with their wider social networks.

— Jascha Kaykas Wolff, SVP of Marketing & Customer Success, Involver

Retailers can offer on-the-spot discounts and samples to customers with a specific profile.

— Ashley Granata, Co-Founder & CMO, Fashism

Two things matter to a retailer when building a social network. First—the more people in your networks, the better. The viral nature and momentum created by critical mass is the best way to create impact. The second is to constantly give them something to talk about—whether it’s product previews or daily musings—the more you talk, the more they talk.

— Lindsay Stevens, Senior Director of Marketing, C.Wonder

Retailers can build a community of brand advocates around their most influential and active users. This is how brands must view social media—not as a way to push content/deals onto fans/followers, but as a way to build a community of advocates who do this on their behalf.

— Justin Yoshimura, Co-Founder & CEO, 500 Friends



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