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7 Key Findings On The Use of Social Media And E-Commerce: New Study

A lot of online retailers have been rushing into using Social Media as the next big marketing thing and yes it is showing some promise.

A recent study by Compete which evaluated online shopping trends, unearthed some interesting findings about the use of Social Media and online shopping, especially about Facebook and Twitter.

According to the Compete Online Shopper Intelligence study, consumers have been slow to embrace social media as a shopping resource. 

Social networking sites were ranked as the least used online shopping resource.

Sixty percent of all consumers surveyed said that they do not use social networking sites while shopping online.

When questioned further, an even larger percentage said that they never visit retailer pages on Facebook or follow retailers on Twitter. I think the rather telling finding about the above graphic is the continuing importance of email and search engines for consumers in promoting the online retailer as shown by

  • Retailer emails as never being used at only 24%  (so they are used regularly 76% of the time)
  • Search engines as never being used at only 8% (meaning that 92% of the time the consumer is using search for starting their shopping experience)

In the study, shoppers overwhelmingly said that they visit retailer Facebook pages and Twitter feeds in order to learn about promotions and sales.  Many retailers now offer Facebook Fans exclusive discounts and coupon codes for online and in store purchases.

A few have even added a storefront to allow consumers to purchase products using those discounts without ever leaving Facebook.  The bottom line is if retailers are looking for an ROI on social media, give shoppers the same thing.

The 7 key findings from the study:

  1. 61 percent of respondents indicated that they never visit a retailers Facebook page
  2. 86 percent of online retailers had a Facebook page
  3. 23 percent said they visit retailer pages less than once a month
  4. Among consumers who are fans of retailers on Facebook, 68 percent are fans of 3 or fewer retailers
  5. 70 percent of shoppers said they do not follow any retailers on Twitter
  6. Among consumers who follow retailers on Twitter, almost 2/3 of them follow 3 or fewer retailers
  7. Among those that do use these outlets, 2 out 3 responded that they use these tools to keep up to date on retailer sales and promotions

So how can retailers attract more consumers to their social media pages? The Compete study showed that you need to be offering  special deals to make the consumer visit their Facebook page.

Major takeaway from the study: “Give them a highly compelling reason to visit—provide shoppers with discount information”.

Dell and Naked Pizza have used this tactic to drive sales with their use of Twitter.

What you also need to keep in mind is the continuing importance of email and SEO.. disregard them at your marketing peril.

So are you using this strategy with your Twitter and Facebook channel?

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