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ARTS Publishes Social Retailing Blueprint for NRF Retail Communities

For Immediate Release
Kathy Grannis (202) 783-7971
grannisk@nrf.com

ARTS Publishes Social Retailing Blueprint for NRF Retail Communities
- Paper Offers Insight on Social Commerce, Group Buying and Targeted Advertising Tactics-

Washington, DC, January 10, 2012 – The Association for Retail Technology Standards (ARTS), the National Retail Federation’s technology standards division, today announced the release of an educational white paper, the ARTS Social Retailing Blueprint, which is aimed at helping retailers understand how to leverage social media for their businesses to manage brand image and awareness, increase sales and engagement, and increase loyalty. The Blueprint is the first of its kind within the retail industry.

“On behalf of the NRF Communities, we are proud to release the Social Retailing Blueprint to the retail industry," said Vicki Cantrell, Executive Director of Shop.org and SVP of Communities, NRF. "Powered by the ARTS community, this paper is the second in a series of educational resources created for all retailers to help understand the basic components, standards and retail best practices around this game-changing and critically influential world of social, local and mobile marketing and technology."

This first version of the Blueprint, written by ARTS members, describes the aspects that retailers should consider when developing their social media program. In further collaboration with the NRF communities, future versions will expand on how employees and sales associates can use social to increase customer service and operational efficiencies. The Blueprint is free to NRF, Shop.org and ARTS members and can be downloaded by visiting www.nrf.com/socialblueprint. It is available for a nominal fee to non-members from the NRF Store at www.nrf.com/nrfstore. The Blueprint series is continually updated to cover the changing landscape and future direction of the space.

Social media’s importance to the retail industry has never been more evident than the 2011 holiday season. According to an NRF/BIGresearch Consumer Intentions holiday survey, more than one-quarter (26.5%) of smartphone owners and three in 10 (31.2%) tablet owners said they planned to keep track of retailers’ holiday sales promotions through Facebook, and 5.4 percent of smartphone and 7.7 percent of tablet owners said they would use Twitter. And according to a recent Shop.org report, more than two out of five adults ages 18-34 consult Facebook when looking for information about a retailer or product.

While the Blueprint outlines Goals, Strategies, and Social Network Alignment in the Organization, there are also 10 specific retailer implemented tactics described in the paper as follows:

1. Monitoring & Analytics           
2. Targeted Advertising               
3. User-Generated Content           
4. Check-Ins                   
5. Social Graph Analytics          
6. Working the Crowd
7. Gamification
8. F-Commerce
9. Social Shopping
10. Group Buying

“These days, if a retailer does not have a social media strategy, they may be missing out on a highly engaged and savvy set of shoppers and brand loyalists," said David Dorf, ARTS committee chair and Senior Director at Oracle Retail. "This Blueprint will provide retailers with the tools they need to understand how to connect with the social world.”

“ARTS continues to help retailers understand the applicability of new technologies such as mobile, cloud, and now social media,” said Richard Mader, Executive Director of ARTS.  “This document can really shortcut their research and will generate many ideas.”

ARTS, following the guidelines of the Blueprint, has established its own social media channels to connect with its members across the world.  Industry members can now interact with ARTS via LinkedIn and Twitter (@ARTSNRF)

Those interested in learning more about ARTS and the Social Blueprint should stop by the ARTS booth #1951 at NRF’s 101st Annual Convention and EXPO at the Jacob K. Javits Center in New York City, January 15-18, 2012. For more information contact ARTS by email at arts@nrf.com or by calling 202-626-8140.

The Association for Retail Technology Standards (ARTS), a division of the National Retail Federation, is a retailer-driven international membership organization.  ARTS was established in 1993 to develop best practices, technology standards and educational programs through collaboration and partnerships that will enable retailers, their vendors and suppliers to conduct business globally.  ARTS standards, products and programs are dedicated to fostering innovation and increasing retailer efficiency.

As the world’s largest retail trade association and the voice of retail worldwide, NRF represents retailers of all types and sizes, including chain restaurants and industry partners, from the United States and more than 45 countries abroad. Retailers operate more than 3.6 million U.S. establishments that support one in four U.S. jobs – 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.5 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy. NRF’s Retail Means Jobs campaign emphasizes the economic importance of retail and encourages policymakers to support a Jobs, Innovation and Consumer Value Agenda aimed at boosting economic growth and job creation. www.nrf.com

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