Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Michaels’ New Kind of Customer Experience: Pinterest Parties

Online interaction has become one of the major aspects of the customer experience today. If I ever came across a company that didn’t have a website, I’d most likely take my business elsewhere. Social media has become a predominant platform to interact with customers. Now, with the rise in smartphones and tablet use, businesses have no choice but to think about their mobile and social customer experience strategy, if they want to be profitable.

Over the last few years, the number of channels consumers use to reach companies has doubled over, and the Internet has become the predominant medium for consumers to express their opinions about a product or company. In fact, a survey found that 50 percent of consumers are more likely to buy a product from a company that they can contact via a social media page. In addition, 56 percent of consumers that actively use social media to interact with businesses feel a stronger connection to that business.

Not to mention, using mobile to reach customers is growing more prevalent. A recent survey of smartphone users found that 63 percent will use online coupons to get the best price. In addition, 57 percent of users indicated that would like to receive location-based offers from companies, and 80 percent said they have received promotions on their smartphones from preferred brands.

Motivated by this social customer experience revolution, Michaels has partnered with Hometalk to bring its customers Pinterest Parties. The craft store is setting aside dedicated time for you to make those cool projects that you’ve been pinning all this time.

According to the companies, these parties will provide live access to Hometalk's network of DIY experts. Hometalk has selected 100 of its members to lead a series of DIY craft demos for customers to learn from as they shop for supplies in Michaels stores. Handpicked for their DIY expertise, Hometalk members will put their own twist on one of five Pinterest-inspired projects, offering customers hands-on help and tutorials, ideas and advice.

"Michaels is all about providing inspiration, instruction and ideas for creative DIY projects," said Michaels CMO Paula Puleo, in a statement. "As a top destination for home and garden project supplies, Michaels is happy to welcome Hometalk members into the stores for these fun, educational events."

The next in-store Pinterest Party will be held on Sunday, February, 16th, 1pm – 4pm at all store locations. There will be plenty of project inspirations, or you can bring in a Pinterest idea of your own!

The Pinterest Parties at Michaels have been a great success for the company’s web presence. Between October and December 2013, visits on the website more than doubled — jumping from two million visits in October 2013 to more than four million in December 2013.

Want to learn more about social customer experience in person? Join me at Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit in Miami in April. To learn more about the event and register, click here:  http://bit.ly/1lx8EDx

About the Author: Amanda Ciccatelli, Social Media Strategist of the Marketing Division at IIR USA, has a background in digital and print journalism, covering a variety of topics in business strategy, marketing, and technology. Amanda is the Editor at Large for several of IIR’s blogs including Next Big DesignCustomers 1st, and ProjectWorld and World Congress for Business Analysts, and a regular contributor to Front End of Innovation and The Market Research Event,. She previously worked at Technology Marketing Corporation as a Web Editor where she covered breaking news and feature stories in the technology industry. She can be reached at aciccatelli@iirusa.com. Follow her at @AmandaCicc.
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