Social Media Hits a New Plateau: Measuring Social’s Influence On Purchasing—And Its Impact On Retail

Bart Mroz, brand advocates, Brand awareness, digital commerce, e-commerce channels, Marketing, peer-to-peer influencers, Pr, Public relations, retail industry, Social commerce, social media habits, social media influence, social media interaction, social platforms, SUMO HeavyData Reveals Opportunities within Social Commerce for Brands & Retailers

Digital commerce consultancy SUMO Heavy announced the results of its 2016 Social Commerce Survey, exploring social media habits, including how users interact with various platforms and what opportunities the medium presents as an effective and profitable e-commerce channel for brands and retailers.

“Not long ago, social media was simply a means for raising brand awareness. What these survey results show is that social media has a much bigger influence. It has the potential to shake up the entire retail industry,” said Bart Mroz, co-founder and CEO of SUMO Heavy, in a news release. “The future of retail will be powered by brand advocates, peer-to-peer influencers and savvy consumers who use social media as part of their transactions.”

The report specifically sought to analyze the implications of increased social media usage on consumer behavior, and sheds light on the influences of the social sphere that were previously unmeasured. The findings reveal that:

  • Consumers turn to social media to learn about products—1 in 4 respondents stated that they use social media to find specific product information.
  • Social newsfeeds can sway purchasing decisions—It’s obvious why social posts by friends and family influence 53% of consumers, but surprisingly, product feature posts have just as much influence.
  • Sponsored posts and social media ads are not effective—These marketing tactics by brands and retailers influence less than 16% of social media users.
  • Chatbots are starting to garner interest among shoppers—55% of people who’ve tried shopping with a chatbot would do it again, and 39% of those who haven’t are now considering it.
  • Women are the early adopters of social commerce—Women are 60% more likely than men to have made past purchases directly through social media platforms.
  • Social commerce is being held back by unaddressed concerns—Security (77%) and privacy (66%) are the leading reasons why consumers are hesitant to shop on social.

The new data also indicate that, in order to tap into a consumer’s extended network, social sharing yields significant opportunities to capture more sales. As such, retailers will need to become more inventive with their social strategies by offering an experience that delivers on consumer feedback and encourages social shares. This will result in a more profitable commerce platform that retailers can fully embrace.

The report also dives into how different people interact with different platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.

Download the complete report here.

Source: PR Newswire; edited by Richard Carufel

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