March 18, 2010 – IDC Retail Insights' new report describes and analyzes the various social media developing and how retailers can use these for a competitive advantage.

According to IDC's findings, brand image and retail brand awareness is increasingly built on social media such as social networks, blogs and comparison Web sites. Social media influence consumer preferences by shaping their attitudes and behavior. These tools can be used by retailers to attract and influence customers, study demand patterns, improve brand reputation and provide customer support.

"Advancements and innovation aimed at capitalizing on social commerce opportunities are essential," said Ivano Ortis, research director, IDC Retail Insights.

IDC recommends that IT executives include social networks in their planning and extend customer service tools to embrace social communities. “Establish early action on enabling the open social commerce landscape,” says Ortis. Implement social media monitoring for what consumers are talking about, where demand might be heading, what other retailers are doing and if they're failing or succeeding.

More information can be found in the IDC report Business Strategy: Social Commerce Opportunities, Strategies, and Risks for Retailers Globally.

Read more Information Management coverage of social media in these recent stories:

Social media in the insurance industry

An IT perspective on social media

Social CRM

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