Following a media luncheon today hosted by Kmart in New York City, CMO Mark Snyder said the retailer's curiosity for the social media space is always growing, and that the next challenge for executives is to find a way to connect it to sales.
"The challenge there is where to invest, and the other side of the challenge is convincing your leadership in how that investment will produce more financial return," he said. "Social media is so dynamic right now. But it's the future and we have to figure it out."
Snyder said the Kmart team can effectively measure the return on investment in traditional marketing, such as pre-print, circular, and television, while "social media is more about engagement, and it's a little bit more difficult to track the engagement point to the actual commerce."
Besides Kmart.com, the retailer also has a presence on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms. Its current "buy online, and pick up in store" option is hosted by MyGofer.com. The retailer recently launched Latina Smart, a blogger community on Facebook.
Snyder said Kmart is currently looking into "shoppable video," through which a consumer can view a video and click on an item to buy it.
"Everyone knows we should be doing it," he said. "It's just difficult because of the financial pressures. We're very quantitative people. The proof in social media takes time to actually pave out how that level of engagement translates to commerce. That's the struggle."