Retailers are having huge success with social and influencer marketing—in large part because retail is a highly social category, with many brands performing above average in driving online and offline consumer conversations—and a handful taking their social influence to great heights.
Engagement Labs, a data and analytics firm that provides social intelligence for Fortune 500 companies, has released its TotalSocial® ranking of the top retail brands in the U.S. based on social influence—examining what these brands are doing to excel in the social age.
The continued dominance of Amazon and Nike in the U.S. marketplace is certainly impressive. Amazon retains the first place spot with a score of 67.1, while Nike remains in second place at 65, despite a turbulent year that saw sharp drops in the brand’s “net sentiment” in social media, as a result of two controversies related to former NFL player Colin Kaepernick.
Amazon dominates consumer conversations and is the focus of more consumer talk than any other retail brand. Amazon has consistently performed better than average both online and offline, earning the “Conversation Commander” status. In a landmark study, Engagement Labs proved that conversations about brands, on average, drive 19 percent of U.S. consumer purchases.
Meanwhile, Kohl’s has moved up to fourth place from seventh, at 60.8, and Costco and Old Navy have joined the list at ninth and 10th, respectively. Victoria’s Secret had the most precipitous drop, falling to 12th from fifth just one year ago, consistent with widespread reports of business difficulties, as we and others have reported recently.
“Published analytics by Engagement Labs have proven that stronger performance on TotalSocial metrics are linked to business growth, which is why businesses from Victoria’s Secret to Amazon should be focused on improving TotalSocial scores,” said Ed Keller, CEO of Engagement Labs, in a news release. “Amazon may be the hands-down leader for social influence in retail, but there are plenty of opportunities for other businesses to improve,” Keller said.
Last year, Engagement Labs published a report, “How to Beat Amazon,” which provides a guide to brands on improving TotalSocial performance.