Retail websites not only exist to market and sell products. Savvy organizations are also using their online properties to educate their customers and prospects while creating communities of users who share information and engage with each other.

In turn, customers are likely to visit these informational and social websites not only when they are looking for a product they want to purchase, but to interact regularly with other customers and get information.

Professional hair styling brand ghd has two types of customers—professional hair stylists who use the company's products themselves and also sell them to their salon clients, and discerning consumers who buy ghd products for their own personal use. Therefore, everything the brand offers needs to appeal to these two different audiences, an objective Stuart Spiegel, the company's CMO, was very aware of when he joined the Leeds-based brand in 2010.