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Rise of Social Media and Its Impact on Retail

Autor:   •  February 26, 2013  •  Research Paper  •  1,957 Words (8 Pages)  •  1,200 Views

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Discuss the rise of social media and its impact on retail.

In this essay I am going to be discussing the new phenomenon which is social media and the ways that it has impacted on retail sales in today’s marke. I will examine how social media has grown and what impact it has on today’s retail sector. I will briefly look at the history of retail and how retailers used advertising followed by an explanation of social media and how it is used in the modern day. I will outline the pros and cons of social media and evaluate the relationship between consumers and retailers that use social networks and summarise with the overall impact of social media.

Over the last hundreds of years business and retail has changed in a significant number of ways, shopping in the UK began when the country started to settle and animals started to be domesticated, this slowly transformed into markets and fairs which then became increasingly more popular and it was not long before the shopping centre’s and high streets that we know today were introduced. Retail has had to adapt to the needs of the modern consumer and the demand for retail has slowly but surely crept into the everyday life’s of us all. The UK’s economy today is not well known for thriving businesses or retail success and with an estimated closure of 20 retail stores a day around the UK, (Doyle, 2012) it is no surprise the country is in a recession and high street spending is down. An endless amount of money is being spent by major retailers on advertising and marketing in an attempt to rise the sales, but in these tough times are these ideas working? In two decades the Internet has transformed the way that most people live, (Schifferes, 2006) meaning the Internet has become an integrated part of how ordinary people work, communicate and socialise. It is now second nature for most people to check online when they have a question to be asked, or to search for a product and retailers take advantage of this in many ways. Traditional retailers use advertising in magazines, shop windows, billboards etc. which can be effective but as technology progresses retailers that aren’t using the internet as an effective selling tool could be falling behind in their sales. Online advertising started in 1994, when adverts started to be sold to advertisers in America. (Medoff, 2001) But before this type of advertising the best way for companies to advertise was through traditional ways which included adverts in newspapers, posters, television, radio, billboards and the most useful probably being word of mouth. Internet advertising has bought everyone together on one network and has changed the face of online shopping, social media websites are one of the ways this has come around and they are becoming increasingly popular in the ever changing retail sector.

Social media networks are communities online, which connect people from around the


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