The accessibility and consolidation of retail sectors into offline and online platforms are triggering exceptional growth. On one hand, it’s an advantage for consumers who can use Omni channels for exploring and shopping. On the other hand, it’s a disadvantage for vendors to classify and implement strategies to satisfy the desires of consumers. The UAE scenario is no different story, and with digitization leap, the gap between online and offline shopping is plummeting. With internet infiltration rate as high as 99% and with 62% population rate of online shoppers (increase of 25% from 2017) in the UAE, the challenge of giving updated information is a daunting task. According to PwC Middle East 2017 report, 52% of consumers use social media to get an updated information about products. Another important aspect to consider is that companies are focusing on contents that need to be posted on these social media channels. Content creation for social media w.r.t. omni-channels, though pretty straightforward, gives updated information which leads to purchase.
Figure 1 is a proposed model for integration of omni-channels and content creation using social media:
As mentioned in the figure, for omni-channel presence, the first challenge is the selection of social media channels. Facebook, Instagram and YouTube are three effective channels used by companies.
- Facebook and Instagram– Companies use Facebook and Instagram for visual content in the form of images, infographics and videos as magnets for engagement. Facebook and Instagram are great sources of content consumers can really enjoy.
- YouTube– Consumers are going to YouTube to search for answers for queries and reviews of the products they’re interested in. Creating explainer videos and how-to's is one Omni channel tactic for searchers, and help boost search engine results page (SERP) rankings as well.
Secondly, once effective on social media, companies are drawing consumers to land on website and post reviews (after buying the product).
- Website Reviews - These reviews serve as first-hand experience of consumers who are ready to buy the product. Souq.com (now Amazon) and Namshi, and even stores like Carrefour are using website reviews to boost the sales.
Thirdly and most importantly is the generation of blog contents. Blog contents are used for both pre and post sales reviews and used by consumers as a key source of information. Social media sites also fall in this category, however, some companies are also websites (like Sitejabber, Medium or Tumblr) for review generation.
- Blog- Even though companies know that blog isn’t where most of your traffic comes, it is important to have informative and interesting content there. Blogs serve as an essential source to redirect consumers back to the website.
- Third-party blog sites– Companies use third-party blogs to extend its reach. Getting into third party blog sites such as Medium, Tumblr or Sitejabber is easy and a great idea to start with.