The past few weeks, I’ve been asking myself, “Why do we shop?” A few reasons instantly come to mind:
1) Necessity: when we need something, we go get it – point blank.
2) Retail Therapy: feeling ‘new’ – we all know how great the rush feels when you find that perfect ‘item’. Since we are continually adapting and shifting our lives, it makes sense that we yearn for ‘new’ things to express ourselves.
3) To be social: shopping with friends is fun! Although in its current grammatical form ‘shopping’ is a verb, one could argue that it’s also a destination. Whether you know exactly what you want before you start shopping or not, the experience allows you to have options, to see things you might not have known existed and to get feedback from trusted sources on the decision you are about to make.
So why are we social when we shop?
Whether we merely need a change of wardrobe, a unique decorative art piece, a new pair of sneakers for the running club you just joined, or the perfect suit for that interview, one thing is certain – we like to ask the experts. We also like to ask our trusted friends, their opinion. All of us are unique – we have different wants and needs and different benefits that we are looking for.
I love it when a retail staff member can help me pick out the best dress for the occasion because their product knowledge is thorough and remember my name because they care about me as a customer.
These are reasons why I prefer to shop the traditional brick and mortar way. Although I live online and engage in digital branding daily, I prefer the social engagement and interaction of walking through a shopping centre or social hub, saying hi to the people I know and looking someone in the eye when I make a payment.
I also have a strong passion for the digital world, and while some may wonder if I secretly work for Twitter (I can assure you, I don’t), I am constantly adapting and learning strategies to connect with an online audience. My eyes light up when I think about the physical boundaries that have been erased for our common day communication.
From this passion, emerged the #ShopSocial initiative. Why not combine the social experience online with the social experience in store?
This summer at Brunswick Square, we have decided to merge the 2 worlds. We recently hosted a Brunswick Square retail workshop to understand social business with Jeff Roach from Sociallogical. A few brave tenants joined the Twittersphere and a few others are becoming more active on their Facebook pages.
To promote that our centre is a ‘social’ one in both contexts, we are running a #ShopSocial Summer Wish List Contest. Each week, take a picture of something you love at Brunswick Square and share it on our Facebook page or tweet it to us. Make sure to include our handle @BSQCentre and the #ShopSocial hashtag. In the nature of keeping things social, also be sure to give a shoutout to the store that has your ‘wish list’ item.
Every Friday, a lucky winner will receive a $50 gift certificate from Brunswick Square!
The definition of ‘social’ has not changed, we have simply added more tools to our tool belt that allow us to be social in different worlds.