In an article written by Mercury News, here, they explain how both customers and retailers are benefiting by their social media usage during this holiday season.
Macy’s and Walmart were the two brands specifically mentioned, which post images of products to get customer feedback on order quantities, or even opinions of what should be featured in stores. Macy’s in particular would show options of different colored jeans. After overwhelming feedback that neon colored jeans were more preferred than pastel colored jeans, (through observations of likes, shares and comments), they made the conscious decision to stock up on more neon jeans for the holidays. Not only is this helpful knowledge to retailers, but it makes shopping more enjoyable for customers. They have enough supplies of a popular item, and are selling products of popular demand.
Walmart is also using social media to gain insight to which toys are more preferred. Whichever toy gets the most attention to Facebook, has a sale the next Tuesday of each week. Customers now become involved in the pricing process. They feel that they have made a difference, and their participation got them a great price on a toy they’re buying for the holidays!
Mentioned towards the end of the article is a small business where decorative flags are sold. Contrary to intuitions, snow flags are popular in the south (where it doesn’t snow much). The business’ owner was unaware of this, never promoted these products in the South, and may have lost dollars in revenue. Immediate Facebook feedback can help avoid potential mistakes, and will leave customers satisfied knowing they are participants, and their favorite products are always in stock.