A main theme at this week's National Retail Federation conference in New York is that social media is majorly changing the face of retail.
Large corporations use social networking sites like Twitter to appear more engaged and personable to their customers, but smaller boutiques think that they can better engage their customers online.
"Communication between consumers is viral and immediate," said Jill Puleri, worldwide retail industry leader for IBM Global Business Services. "They discuss your brands, products and services and boy, does everybody look at it. Some are good. Some are not so good. Millions of people around the world are reading them and being influenced by what they say."
J.C. Penney's recently went for the girlfriend-in-the-dressing room role, tweeting, "That jacket is a definite win," after a customer posted a picture of a jacket and wrote, "But I reeaally want this jacket. I saw one like this at JCPenney"
Many smaller retailers aren't impressed. You can't tweet or post your way into customers' hearts, they say. That, they say, takes actual face time. Still, local retailers also have jumped on the digital bandwagon-- the difference, many say, is that they recognize the names of customers they're exchanging cozy tweets with.
Read more at OregonLive.com.