A NY Times article today covers how retailers are using blogs to give “their stores more personality and giving customers a reason to return even when they’re not in the mood to buy.” Full article
In the past 6 months my SEO firm has noticed a significant increase in interest from online retailers that want to use blogs for a variety of purposes ranging from brand building to direct sales via RSS feeds. As a communications channel, blog and RSS offer excellent options for retailers to augment their current marketing initiatives.
It’s still early in the game though, and many retailers will be looking to early adopters for evidence of results.
I think blogging is particularly well suited for retail marketing due to the influence of brand and product research to purchasing decisions. RSS also offers many direct sales opportunities as an augmentation to email marketing.
Add on the search engine optimization benefits of blogging and it becomes a pretty complelling argument to start a retail blog.