Stores: Online and Offline

This is a thought that I’ve had for a while now, it all stemmed from a rather embarrassing move on my behalf. A few months ago I was browsing through my twitter feed and saw that a high street store had tweeted that their new season clothing was being rolled out across their stores that day. With the tweet they included a twitpic of what we can expect from the new line, this picture showed a loose knit, pastel jumper that I fell in love with instantly. So without a second thought I headed to a large nearby shopping centre to snap it up.

On my phone again (I’m ALWAYS on it) I saw that the store had since tweeted saying to tweet them a photo if you land your hands on the new summer range. Straight away I mentally gave brownie points to said store, I’m an absolute sucker for brands that are engaging, interactive and fun through their twitter account, so obviously I was going to rush home, style it, put it on and post a photo! (I was thinking this with a half sarcastic tone, and half ‘oh my god I can’t wait to get home’ tone)

At the till the girl stated how they only got this particular item in that morning and how lovely it was, my reply was “Oh I know, I can’t wait to wear it! I might tweet it like you’re twitter said too!” she looked at me like I was totally insane. 1) I don’t think this girl had twitter herself 2) She seemed to have no idea that the store had twitter 3) So obviously she had no idea what I was so eagerly frigging talking about.

Before I got chance to explain she was already packing my receipt in the bag and giving me the ‘goodbye, now.’ eyes.

Now, before you say it, I know I shouldn’t just jump to the conclusion that everyone is on twitter and it’s fine that this young lady wasn’t on twitter, but somewhere inside me I kind of hoped that employees of the store are briefed slightly on what they are doing online. For me, this particular store is one of the best and most active high street clothing brands online. They have a huge following and use their feed in the best possible way. It’s not always self promotion, but it is informative, helpful and fun with some conversation management. I’d like to think, for my own blushing cheeks sake, that there’s a poster being pinned up as I type in the employees room saying..

“We are on twitter, people tweet us often, we talk to people, we share photos, we ask for photos, we talk to celebs online, we post photos of celebs in our stuff. Hey, we even sometimes run competitions online. So if you get some crazy woman talking to you in store about us online… smile and nod.”

Brands can be fab online and fab instore, but when the two aren’t consistant, I get sad. The example given is just to set the tone of what I’m trying to ask. Do you expect employees to have some knowledge of their stores online activity? Would you like to see offline and online more insync? Or is there any brands you feel have this nailed?


3 thoughts on “Stores: Online and Offline

  1. I know of a few brands where the PR companies actually run the twitter page so when you think you’re engaging with someone from the brand you’re actually not. Other brands have multiple twitter accounts like ASOS so I assume at least one person from the brand will be running it?

    • Thanks Daniella, this is a good point, one that I forgot to mention! The brand in question suggests that it is ran by employees, of course this is probably an in house PR team, but they manage to get a really friendly vibe. ASOS is a good case study to use, the brand in question also has two accounds, so I did look at both accounts when looking to understand tone and approach. I agree that their must be several people contributing to the feeds. Its a difficult one to answer due to all the different ways in which a social media account can be handled.

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