I just read a summary of a fascinating study by ForeSee Results titled The Key to Driving Retail Success with Social Media. ForeSee surveyed 10,000 visitors to 40 of the biggest online retail sites (as defined by Internet Retailer’s 2009 Top 500 Guide) to determine how online shoppers interact with retailers via social media. Among their findings:
• 69% of all online shoppers use some form of social media regularly. Facebook topped the list, with regular use by 56% of online shoppers, followed by 22% for YouTube.
• Of the online shoppers who use social media regularly, 56% “friend” or “follow” at least one retailer. Most are very selective in their choices. 61% of respondents “friend” or “follow” only 1 to 5 companies.
• What’s the main thing people look for from the companies they follow online? 49% say they want to learn about sales and special offers. That’s followed closely by 45% who are looking for product information.
Despite these numbers, only half of the Top 100 online retailers have an active Facebook presence. The other half either has no presence at all, or a Facebook page with minimal activity.
Any time you can get a customer or prospect to seek information from you, you have a golden opportunity to build relationships, loyalty and sales. ForeSee’s study suggests that Facebook offers such an opportunity to those who establish an active presence now, before the playing field becomes overcrowded. Read the full summary of ForeSee’s study here.