In the past few months, retailers in the UK have been facing a lot of issues. Some retailers have been hit really hard with an overall drop of 6% in shoppers in March 2018 as reported by the Guardian. While there were several factors affecting the recent declines in the past months, there hasn’t been one definitive cause for this dip in sales, especially in the high streets with in-store transactions.

Some of the causes attributed to the drop were the weather conditions and an increase in online shopping. While this may be true, there’s more to it than that and social media may just be what gets people coming back for more. We’ll be looking at the different strategies by these companies to promote sales, engage their audiences and keep customers coming back for more!

Status resistance


UK Retailers’ Post Types and their Interactivity Indeces

We can clearly see an association between the Interacivity Index and the type of post created with statuses having the highest ratio of Interactivity Index to # of Posts, followed by link posts, video posts and finally photo posts as prepared by Maciej Baranowski from our Data Science team for the retail sector. This is quite unusual since with other brands or pages usually video posts are the ones that have the biggest reach and interactivity indeces while statuses and link posts don’t perform as well.

This discrepancy can be generally linked to the content of the posts where a lot of them contain offers, updates on product releases of some favorite products of clients for example or generally reward people for sharing or commenting on a post.

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A video is worth a thousand pictures

The old saying goes “A picture is worth a thousand words”. Well in the case of social media where videos are the up and coming stars of content, it seems that videos are worth a thousand pictures as well and with video FPS (frames per second) rate capped at 30, all you need is a 34 second video to really get those thousand pictures in there!

UK Retailers’ Number of Posts by Type and Number of Characters

Photos seem to promote a higher number of characters associated with the post while videos generally go for less since there can be more information within the videos and less than in the pictures. Picture posts also generally were targeting promotions at customers and engaging them in seasonal attractions.

Customer Care & Service

When it comes to customer care, comments are everything. Talking to the people and having human interactions with the brand on social media can make or break brands these days. People don’t want the usual corporate language of “We’ll get in touch with you soon” or “Please email us at so and so” so real personalized interactions interactions are highly encouraged and well recieved by the audience on Facebook.

These different types of interactions from the brand can be seen to promote more engagement with the brand and push for higher quality engagement. While some of the shares and comments might be due to promotions or contests for giveaways which require these as a condition to enter, there generally seems to be a consensus that the more you comment and engage with your fanbase, the better your image is online and the more reach you will get as a result.

This would generally encourage people to get more of a positive image of the brand and be more likely to shop there, whether it’s in-store sales on the high street, in your local supermarket or online shopping which seems to have started affecting brands everywhere equally but retailers even more!

Retailers in the UK are having a tough time, social media is definitely one of the ways to help recover from this as its reach goes well above and beyond any other medium in our day and time with Facebook dominating nearly all other social media sites and almost having a monopoly over them with Facebook and Instagram being some of the most active sites on earth in terms of active users and traffic.

Making sure to utilize these tools well and connecting on a personal level with customers will surely either make or break retailers in this tough period!

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Hisham Itani

Junior Marketing Specialist

Engineer, Master's Student and Process Optimization Enthusiast. A fan of data analytics, renewable energies and good bike rides on sunny days.