Rately is a Social Merchandising Platform, so we often get the question - What is Social Merchandising?
When two terms like Social (Media) and Merchandising come together, they communicate something that’s both familiar and new.
Merchandising refers to the things you do, usually in your store, be it online or in the physical world, to stimulate interest in your products and drive sales.
Trusty Wikipedia defines Social Media as:
Interactive web platforms via which individuals and communities share, co-create, discuss, and modify user-generated content
Rately brings together these two concepts - stimulating interest in products and driving sales, while also letting individuals (shoppers) and communities share, co-create, discuss, and modify user-generated content.
Most ecommerce sites are tied to platforms that simply can’t evolve quickly. They are big platforms that are built to not be nimble, to be PCI compliant, and to serve all sorts of company constituents. There’s a lot more that goes on behind the scenes of an ecommerce store than the content a consumer sees - there’s an alphabet soup of systems ranging from OMS to DOM to WMS (and I’m still leaving out plenty of others).
Because the ecommerce system is really an enterprise software system, it acts like it. In other words, it can’t change very often, usually with upgrades that happen every 2 years or so. That’s if you’re lucky.
That said, when new consumer-driven technologies appear, ecommerce systems are not well equipped to support them - or integrate with them. Here is a simple example - how many ecommerce content platforms have the standard pinch and swipe of images that you would like to see on an iPad?
The iPad is the hottest thing going for shoppers, essentially replacing the mountain of catalogs and lookbooks that usually appear at this time of year. It was launched in April of 2010. Two and a half years later, after selling millions, and finding a special place with consumers - most ecommerce sites haven’t changed. It’s because redesigning and changing the front end of a large ecommerce site is like moving out of your house. Something you would often like to do, but you dread the actual process. It’s expensive, time-consuming, and usually a hair-pulling group grope kind of exercise.
Enter Rately. With a Rately Social Merchandising System, an ecommerce retailer can bridge the gap between consumer social media and their own ecommerce platforms. Not to mention, they can focus their own social media efforts on creating assets that stimulate real product interest - both online and in-store. Here are the key things that the Rately Social Merchandising System can do:
- Merchandise new, exciting visual content throughout an ecommerce site (product pages, category pages - wherever) to help drive on-site conversion. This content can appear on ecommerce sites that are on desktops, tablets, mobile sites - or even on kiosks in-store.
- Publish new, exciting visual content in social media - in turn, driving traffic back to the ecommerce site
- Let shoppers create and combine brand / product content as they see fit and share it, interact with it, and shop with it- both in social media and on the ecommerce site.
A social merchandising system evolves in tune with consumer technologies, letting retailers merchandise their products using up to date consumer technologies and tools, and letting consumers interact with products and brand content in a way that’s relevant and accessible.