Surprisingly, many retail business owners still don’t view someone online as a “real customer.” But the stats tell the true story.
While brick and mortar retail is still an enormous market (US$4 trillion), social media has developed into the marvelously remodeled showroom. One that’s accessible all day, every day, from the comfort of your home; and can be perused on the fly, through the ease of a phone.
A calculated social media strategy affords an amazing opportunity for businesses to engage in conversations, learn from customer complaints in real time, and boost the brand exponentially. It’s a traveling showroom but the furthest thing from a traveling salesman. A successful social media strategy is there when you want it, stays away when you don’t, and is geared toward helping people find what they’re looking for, rather than forcing sales on products that they don’t want.
As an example of the right way to do things, take Mohawk Industries, the world’s largest flooring company. Their vision is to deliver innovation and make life better with each and every product. So it’s no surprise that they targeted social media and digital marketing to make it easier for consumers to purchase products. They knew that merely increasing Mohawk’s social footprint wouldn’t cut it. But leveraging in-memory analytics to control how they listen, engage, and monetize, in real time? Now that’s game changing.
Social Media Innovation
It all started by leveraging customer engagement solutions from SAP to illuminate the not-so-obvious profitability opportunities. By doing so, Mohawk is afforded the opportunity to connect with prospects on an entirely new level. Like a woman’s tweet, about her interest in a leopard rug…
”If I told you 12 months ago that we could monitor somebody tweeting about a rug, and close the transaction in two minutes, nobody would have believed me. That is what I call innovation”– Jana Kanyadan, SVP & CIO, Mohawk Industries, Inc.
Amazingly through technology, Mohawk picked up on the tweet, passed it onto their channel partners who then closed the sale, after recommending the perfect rug. It’s a similar process for all social leads generated. In fact, their trusted retail partners convert the leads into sales at a staggering 80% of the time. The customer experience and the backend processes alike, share an important commonality… simplicity.
Perhaps the ultimate testament toward Mohawk’s innovative spirit comes from their ambition toward sustainability and steadfast tactics targeting carbon footprint reduction. Already a leading recycler in North America, they actually produce a specific carpet that’s made from plastic bottles and also managing multiple facilities that are shipping zero waste out of the buildings.
To paraphrase the late Steve Jobs, you’ve got to start with the customer and work back toward the technology, not the other way around; and that’s exactly what Mohawk is doing. From social footprint to carbon footprint, the customer remains at the root of all Mohawk efforts. And I for one can’t wait until it’s time to go carpet shopping… so I can describe the perfect carpet… in 140 characters or less.
The SmartStrand #ForeverClean Challenge
Can the toughest, easiest to clean carpet on the planet stand up to the toughest, muddiest test of all? In a fascinating campaign to prove how durable and easy to clean the SmartStrand Forever Clean carpet is – Mohawk and the Tough Mudder teamed up to find out. After a 10-12 mile mud run, over 10,000 participants stomped their mud-covered shoes atop this resilient carpet as they crossed the finish line. Click here to see more.
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This story originally appeared on SAP Business Trends.
Top image: Shutterstock