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Outlook 2012: Retailers harness social media to boost sales and jobs

Manager Mike Brand of Panera in Mohawk Commons behind the bakery counter on January 31, 2012.
Photographer: Stacey Lauren-Kennedy
Manager Mike Brand of Panera in Mohawk Commons behind the bakery counter on January 31, 2012.
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The average shopper doesn't need billboards, blown-up advertisements, look books or even commercials anymore to find out what's new in stores. They open a browser on their smartphones, bring up their Facebook news feeds, check their Twitter timelines, and there among the witty musings of their friends are updates from J. Crew or Urban Outfitters, their local bookstore or theater. The evolution of consumer-retailer interaction is changing and will continue to change the way retailers ...

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