Research into how Small Fashion Retail Boutiques use Social Media to Build Customer Relationships and Loyalty
(2014) Research into how Small Fashion Retail Boutiques use Social Media to Build Customer Relationships and Loyalty, no. 86.
Purpose-This paper is an explorative study into understanding how small fashion boutiques use social media for marketing. The research aim looks at how small fashion retail boutiques use social media to build customer relationships and loyalty. Design/methodology/approach- The study uses a mixed method approach through the use of interviews and questionnaires. Overall ten interviews were conducted with the owners of the fashion boutiques in the central region of Scotland. Afterwards fifty questionnaires were completed. These were constructed from the key themes within the questionnaires; they were then used to gain the opinion of the regular shoppers within the store to determine whether they agree with what the business owner deems to be true. Similarities and differences were then contrasted to allow the findings to be more reliable. Findings- Small fashion boutiques have an ad-hoc approach in relation to their marketing planning due to limited resources and knowledge in the area. However the use of social media within those businesses is necessary in building customer loyalty and relationships. This is the case as the businesses within this research post daily in order to market and interact with customers, keeping them updated. It can also be seen how the consumers of those boutiques would consult social media before shopping within a particular store, revealing the impact social media has on the customers overall opinion of the store. Within these small fashion boutiques other traditional methods of marketing such as newspapers have also seen to be highly unsuccessful and costly, revealing the importance in social media as a method of marketing. Overall this conveys how traditional marketing practices have changed through the use of the internet. The majority of these boutiques also feel that their competitors are in regards to other small fashion retailers within the local area. This then reveals the necessity for those boutiques to build customer loyalty and relationships, in failure of doing this they will lose existing and potential customers to other competitors. Research Implications- Due to the fact the research was conducted within the central region of Scotland this may result in varied results if this had been conducted in a large city. A larger sample size would have allowed for more generalizable results.