'Social commerce' hot for back-to-school

I recently did a roundup of apparel retail brands that are stepping up their use of social media to communicate value as part of...

I recently did a roundup of apparel retail brands that are stepping up their use of social media to communicate value as part of their back-to-school promotional strategies. Recent research supports the move as more of a legitimate trend than what may appear.

Hill & Knowlton's "Future of Commerce" report shows that 27% of Gen Y is influenced by an "online community or blog," compared to 19% of Gen X and 9% of Baby Boomers. And 83% of respondents said "personal prior experience" has the greatest impact on where they choose to shop online. The report was based on a survey of more than 600 US adults conducted by Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates and supplemented with research conducted by H&K.

According to a release from CheapTweet - a Twitter-based search feature driven by a community that votes on cost-saving deals - a number of retailers are developing multifaceted social media strategies that include the feature to extend their back-to-school reach. A couple brands using the function include Overstock.com and Perpetual Kid. Valerie Kusler, an AE at the Ketner Group – AOR for CheapTweet parent company Appozite - explained that retail partners have been growing in number and diversity.

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