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By: Jeremi Karnell, CEO

Until recently, Social Merchandising has been primarily defined by displaying ratings, likes, comments and (in some cases) purchases from either your social network or a broader community. However, recent application of Social Design principals to intimately match customer interests with offers and products is taking Merchandising to a whole new level.

Social Design is a strategy that places social experiences at the center of product and service design by leveraging customer interest graphs, conversations, and identity:


Many companies have been using the above framework to build products and services with social at its core, most notably Zynga, Spotify, and Huffington Post.  American Express recently applied these same design principals into its Link, Like, Love Facebook application and pushed Social Merchandising to a new level.   By allowing their customers to link their Amex cards to their Facebook accounts, American Express was able to analyze their  Interest Graphs and dynamically recommend merchant offers based on  likes and check-ins.  They took this a step further by allowing their customers to link those offers to their cards.  To that end, customers no longer needed to bring a physical coupons or show a mobile QR code to redeem the offer.  The discount would simply be applied automatically when they used their Amex card to buy that product. is taking this framework to the next level with its OfferGraph platform:


Notable enhancements include:

  • Expanding social authentication to both Facebook and Twitter
  • Allowing any credit card in your wallet to be linked
  • Analyzing customer Likes, Check-ins, and tweets to understand offer affinities
  • Provide mobile push as an adjunct or alternative to card linking

Applications for this evolved approach to Social Merchandising are almost endless.   Retail manufactures should start to create hyper-customized and socially informed offer boutiques for all of their key customer segments.  Retail distribution platforms (Supermarkets,etc) should start consider how Social Merchandising may inform their circular innovation efforts.

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