How Social Media and Interactive Marketing Entices Retail Shopping

Retail companies are improving their marketing strategies to drive new and loyal customers through their stores.  They have become more involved in the use of social media and interactive marketing to entice its shoppers.  An outfitters retailer, who has successfully used these new marketing methods effectively is REI (Recreational Equipment Incorporated).

From what I remember, my very first REI shopping experience was a pleasant one. The purpose of visiting their store was to tune-up my bike and buy additional accessories. Once I visited the cashier to close out my purchases, the cashier asked if I signed up to become a REI dividends member.  There was a one-time fee of $20.00 to become a lifetime REI dividends member, so I signed up out of convenience. Afterwards, they proceeded to collect my contact information to send me catalogs and emails advertising their promotional events and sales. Members can update their “opt-in” or “opt-out” settings by either visiting REI’s Privacy Policy page located on their website or by choosing to unsubscribe in REI’s email newsletters.

One example of an “opt-in” email subscription is a  personalized newsletter (first screen shot). REI sends a weekly or monthly email newsletter advertising a schedule of events by your local REI retailer.

Another example of an “opt-in” email subscription that REI sends more frequently is the example below (second screen shot). When the user clicks on various areas of the email it redirects the subscribers to REI’s online store. As you can see, the email is consistent with REI’s website branding.


Social Media
Within the last two years, REI has added social media to its advertising. Links to REI’s social media pages are displayed on the home page of the REI website, in email newsletters as well as displayed on printed catalog and postcard advertisements.

:: Facebook ::

Fan pages are effective like an e-commerce websites.  REI’s Facebook fan page allows users to view and access wall posts, participate in polls, add or view product photos, click on links to featured items, read how-to-articles shared by experts, watch instructional videos and use the store locator.

:: Twitter ::

Customers can follow the REI Twitter account and engage with their community manager with questions on products or participate in promotional deals. REI’s community manager also provides customer service by answering followers tweets.

:: YouTube ::

REI customers can access hundreds of helpful instructional videos from REI’s YouTube channel. A YouTube video can be shared across maybe social media pages. One can also insert the YouTube source code in your blog or website.

Interactive Marketing

REI has adopted several interactive marketing initiatives.  The store locator QR Code located on the back of the REI catalogs (bottom left image).  Customers can scan the QR Code with their mobile smart phone and be redirect to the mobile REI store locator page (iPhone mobile web example, bottom right image).

Mobile Advertising

Another example of interactive marketing is mobile advertising.  REI has added REI apps mobile apps for the iPhone and Android smart phones. iPhone users can find the REI mobile apps by visiting the page and clicking on the link to download the iPhone app (orange buttons shown on the screen shot image below).   For Android mobile users, scan the QR Code shown below to be redirected to Android REI app download.  The two REI apps available are the REI App and the Snow and Ski Report by REI App.


16 thoughts on “How Social Media and Interactive Marketing Entices Retail Shopping

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