Thursday, September 17, 2009

Keeping up with the social crowd

Facebook and Twitter are powerful tools for retailers looking to communicate with customers, but are these social networking sites becoming their unlikely new competitors?

For Cleveland, Ohio-based American Greetings, a greetings card and e-commerce company, the answer is yes.

“Many consumers now send birthday and holiday messages via Facebook or Twitter rather than relying on cards and e-cards,” said Kathy Hecht, senior VP and general manager direct for American Greetings, during the recent eTail East conference held in Baltimore. “Our competitors are no longer just those companies that offer the same product, but free online sites that can provide a similar service.”

Facebook members can also send free or low-cost virtual goods to their online friends. However, some analysts think this niche area is limited since many social networkers aren’t ready or interested in making larger purchases on the site -- they’re there to socialize, not to shop.

Still, Hecht said American Greetings aims to up its game to stand out among these new trends and keep customers loyal.

Click here to read more about the company's new strategic initiatives.

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