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  • Clint Engel

Bill Napier launches social website for retailers

MINNEAPOLIS — Industry marketing specialist Bill Napier has launched a website designed to educate furniture retailers and other merchants about the important influence of social media and social media marketing on consumers.

The website, Social4Retail.com, focuses on 10 platforms that influence "consumer engagement," including FaceBook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest and Groupon, but says that the social media players examined are likely to change as the face of social media changes. The site describes the various platforms, how they work and how retailers can get involved with them.

It includes case studies and is updated every day, according to a release.

"It's no longer good enough to have a great website," said Napier. "The new customers, Generation X and Y, are all wired into the Internet and they are getting connected through a variety of platforms to engage local stores and the brands they carry."

The ultimate goal for Social4Retail, the release said, is to drive consumers first to the websites of retailers and industry brands and then into stores.

There are 126 million Gen X and Y consumers, Napier said, adding that in two years, more than 90% of them will be online daily.

"They are getting most of their content online - movies, blogs, customer reviews and more," he said.

"Our local brick-and-mortar stores are facing some tough challenges, as are the brands they support," Napier added. "We must adapt to what consumers want, where they want it, and how they want to engage with content."

He said the site will aggregate related news "to help retailers and brands stay relevant" in a changing retail environment.

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