How effective is Facebook as a marketing tool for retailers? It depends which study you believe.
According to RichRelevance, Facebook is dominant as a source of traffic for online retailers, and shoppers who enter retail sites via Facebook browse more pages and make more total purchases, but shoppers driven to those sites via Pinterest spend more money.
Yet Sociable Labs found that only 30 of the top 500 online retailers, or just 6 percent, have added the option of logging in with Facebook to their account-creation process.
According to comScore, Pinterest users follow an average of 9.3 retailers on the site, compared with 8.5 by Twitter users, and 6.9 by Facebook users.
Back to Sociable Labs, which found that 62 percent of online shoppers have read their friends’ product-related comments on Facebook, and, of that group, 75 percent have clicked on product links, and 53 percent have completed purchases.
The latest to chime in is multichannel commerce and communication software provider Hybris, which found in its study of more than 500 U.S. consumers that 65 percent of respondents do not use Facebook or other social media sites to interact with retailers or to get information from them, instead expressing a preference for going directly to retailers’ websites or stores.
Hybris also found that:
- Of the 35 percent of respondents that did use social networks to interact with retailers, 75 percent turned to Facebook, with 74 percent of those respondents citing “to receive notices about sales” and “to receive coupons or online codes” as their primary reasons for liking retailers’ pages.
- 69 percent of respondents said they would not purchase goods or services directly from retailers’ social media sites, saying that they preferred to deal directly with retailers, and expressing privacy concerns.
Hybris North America President Steven Kramer said:
While social media channels can be valuable awareness-generating vehicles for retailers, they are not currently preferred options for consumers when it comes to purchasing, with consumers visiting retailers’ social media sites to gather information that they will then oftentimes use to complete a purchase via another channel. Consumers continue to want information when they want it, where they want it, and how they want it, but when it comes to actually making a purchase, social media is not a preferred or trusted choice. This demonstrates the importance of retailers having a cohesive, cross-channel marketing and commerce strategy, with social media just a piece of the overall multichannel puzzle.
Readers: How do you use Facebook and other social networks in your dealings with retailers?