Indigo: Making Connections. Creating Experiences.

Paige Mahoney-Nagle    February 8, 2015

Organization Name: Indigo

Industry: Retail, Online Retail

Name of Contact: Heather Reisman CEO

Web References: Indigo, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Globe and Mail, CBC

Established in 1996 with a vision of being a booklovers’ cultural department store, Indigo opened it’s first store in Burlington, Ontario in 1997. Growing from there it merged with Chapters in 2001 to become the largest book retailer in Canada. They have expanded and introduced new initiatives since then, all encompassing their company mission; to provide their customers with the most inspiring retail and digital environments in the world for books and life-enriching products and experiences. Indigo now operates 247 stores nationally and an expansive online store selling “books, eBooks, specialty toys, gifts and lifestyle enhancing products that offer quality, beauty and timeless design.”

Indigo-Social-MediaAs a large business who’s promise is “To add a little joy to our customers’ day each and every time they interact with us”, social media is an essential tool. One that Indigo has embraced and excelled at using. They have large followings across multiple social networks as well as through their own Indigo membership (iRewards & Plum Rewards).

They state that their customers are their priority, and they mean it. Their customer base encompasses all ages and they work that to their advantage. Connecting to their customers on multiple social networks and occasionally multiple accounts within those networks (@ChaptersIndigo @IndigoTeen and  @indigogreenroom on Twitter) means they are there to meet the needs of ALL of their customers. Their two most engaged networks are a great reflection of this.

Indigo Customer Engagement: We exist to add joy to our customers lives - when they interact with us and when they interact with our products.

Indigo Customer Engagement: We exist to add joy to our customers lives – when they interact with us and when they interact with our products.

Indigo’s main Twitter account, @chaptersindigo,  boasts over 110,000 followers. It’s an interactive platform where they encourage their followers to ask for recommendations for their next read(#AskIndigo), follow along with their Indigo spotlight books, participate in their #WorldsBiggestBookClub, and interact in real time with hosted authors. They are prompt in their responses, active all day long promoting specials both online and in store, and really engaging with their customer base.

Similarly Indigo’s Facebook page showcases deals, items and books of interest. They cross promote their other social networks and respond to customer inquiries. But probably the most engaging section of their Facebook page is their Indigo Ideas.

Indigo launched their Indigo Ideas in October 2011. Hosted by Soap Box HQ they use Indigo Ideas as a way to get their customers input on how they could be doing things better. The system is incredibly transparent and makes customers feel like their opinion is important and heard. Members can sign in and submit an idea. These ideas are voted and commented on by fellow customers, to support or oppose. Indigo then reviews all the ideas and works on implementing what they can.

Indigo-IdeasLessons for others

Your customers should be your #1 priority, especially on social media. They are one of your best sources for ideas on how to better you business and it’s future, embrace this and engage them. In a time when everyone is looking for the best deal and Indigo can easily be undercut by larger companies like Walmart, Costco and Amazon they are holding their own because the experience and the customer service they provide makes customers want to return and purchase from them. They’ve created a community, they are facilitating and encouraging their customers to interact with each other. Both of which make consumers more likely to continue to shop with them, they feel invested in the brand. Making sure to engage all of your customers on their preferred networks is essential. Emails, Tumblr, Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube Etc., the demographics are different across the different mediums and by creating engaging accounts on all networks Indigo is addressing their wide customer base and no one is left out.

To hear more about Indigo tune in to this Interview with Indigo Founder and CEO Heather Reisman

Submitted by: Paige Mahoney-Nagle

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