Social Media Hardly Affects Online Shoppers
Social media barely budges the needle for online shoppers, according to a new report.
Social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter influence only 5 percent of visitors to retail websites in the United States, according to the report, released by ForeSee Results.
The report shows that promotional e-mails, search engine results and ads prompt far more visits to retail websites than social media does.
“Traditional marketing techniques like promotional e-mails influence not only more traffic; they deliver better-quality traffic,” ForeSee Results said.
ForeSee Results said the No. 1 driver of visits to retail websites is brand familiarity, at 38 percent.
Other influencers are:
- Promotional e-mails, 19 percent.
- Search engine results , 8 percent.
- TV, radio, newspaper and magazine ads, 8 percent.
- Word-of-mouth recommendations, 8 percent.
- Internet advertising, 7 percent.
- Social networking, 5 percent.
- Blogs or online forums, 3 percent.
- Shopping comparison websites, 2 percent.
- Product review websites, 2 percent.
Eighty percent of online shoppers surveyed said they were satisfied with the presence on Facebook of the top 40 e-retailers. The satisfaction level was 78 percent for the top 40 retail websites and 64 percent for Facebook.com.
Larry Freed, president and CEO of ForeSee Results, said retailers should “know how people want to hear from them and how well they’re doing when it comes to communicating through those channels.”
“Serious thought needs to be given to finding out whether social media is worth the investment for their business,” Freed said, “and then if the answer is yes, they need to make the most of it by making sure that interactions on social media meet the needs and expectations of customers. Otherwise, the effort is wasted and could even be detrimental to the business.”