Study examines opinions on social commerce

May 31, 2011
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May 27, 2011 - Shoppers are willing to interact with retailers through a variety of social networks and retailers have limitless opportunities to capitalize on the momentum, according to the 2011 Social Commerce Study, a joint research project by, comScore and Social Shopping Labs. The report, which evaluates shopping directly influenced by social media, polled 1,787 adult online shoppers in April 2011.

The survey found that:
  • 42 per cent of online consumers have “followed” a retailer proactively through Facebook, Twitter or a retailer’s blog, and the average person follows about six retailers.
  • The majority of respondents (58%) said they follow companies to find deals, while nearly half (49%) say they want to keep up to date on products. More than one-third also follow retailers for information on contests and events (39%).
  • More than half of Facebook users (56%) say they have clicked through to a retailer’s website because of a Facebook post, while over two-thirds of Twitter users (67%) say a post has spurred them to click through to a website.
  • One-third of shoppers say they would be likely to make a purchase directly from Facebook (35%) or Twitter (32%).
  • 42 per cent of Twitter users access the site on their mobile phone at least once a day, while the same is true for 34 per cent of Facebook users. In addition, about one-third (32%) of people view YouTube clips daily from their smartphones.
  • Nearly half of consumers (47%) have accessed customer reviews in store using their mobile device with men (55%) more likely to access these reviews in store than women (39%).
  • Eight in 10 (82%) online consumers are aware of group-buying sites, though only 19 per cent of survey respondents have actually made a purchase through one of the sites. Those who do leverage group-buying sites appear to be enthusiasts, as the majority of consumers (57%) have spent over $100 through these sites to date.
  • The majority of shoppers say they have purchased non-traditional retail items like food and drinks (18%), entertainment (16%), and personal care items (12%) through these sites.
The report also evaluated awareness and usage of location-based applications like Foursquare, Yelp and Gowalla. On the basis of sheer awareness among consumers, these platforms are still in the early growth stage among consumers: Foursquare has the highest awareness (16%), followed by Yelp (10%) and Gowalla (6%).

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