Should Retailers Hire Twenty-Somethings to Sell Stuff on Facebook?
As the first generation to grow up on personal computers, Millennials often have lessons in technology they can teach people from the preceding generations. Many of us know that from personal experience in our family lives. But what about the workplace? Are retail businesses, often run by Boomers, putting the technological talents of twenty-somethings to full use?
Adweek ran an interesting report, albeit anecdotal, that suggested that when it comes to selling on social media, particularly Facebook, putting Millennials in charge may be the key to success.
The challenges that many major retailers have faced using Facebook as a selling platform have been well documented. Many have concluded that F-commerce simply won’t work. A February 2012 RetailWire poll found only seven percent were more optimistic about social media as a sales tool than they had been a year earlier. Thirty-six percent were less optimistic.
Alison Young, who owns an Apricot Lane franchise with her sister, is one of those in their twenties who believes there is an advantage that comes with age, or lack thereof, on Facebook.
"We started using Facebook marketing before we even opened our business to the public," Ms. Young told Adweek. "And when we did open it, we immediately started incorporating the store into Facebook by taking pictures and posting them. People started immediately calling and ordering over the phone. The next step was adding a shopping cart."
The shopping cart came after the sisters added a "shop" button to their Facebook page. The result was that online sales have jumped from 25 percent of the business to 33 percent.
Ms. Young said that they also use Facebook as a means to assure new item success. They post photos of items they are considering carrying and ask their 36,000 Facebook fans for opinions. "We really try to involve them in the buying process, and we get a feel for what they want us to carry in the store," she told Adweek.
- Facebook Commerce May Be Better Run by Twentysomethings – Adweek
- F-Commerce Faces Questions as Facebook Stores Close – RetailWire
- Facebook the Sequel: Like, Want, Buy – RetailWire
Is putting Millennials in charge the answer to succeeding in Facebook commerce for those retailers who have fallen short? Do you think there is something to the age equation when it comes to achieving success with social media and new technologies?