Retail Tweets Lift Online Sales

Twitter impressions lead to real shoppers for major retailers, Compete study says

Twitter helps e-retailers sell products, according to a 75-day study released today by the social media site in conjunction with research firm Compete.

Twitter users who saw either an organic or paid retail tweet purchased online at a 39 percent clip, per the firms' study, beating the 27 percent of overall Internet users who bought something. In general, their findings show that Twitter users buy more online (33 percent) than overall Internet viewers.

And the more retail tweets Twitter users see, the more likely they’ll purchase from the micro-blogging merchants, said the Compete/Twitter report. Those in the study who saw 12-plus tweets from a retailer were 32 percent more likely to buy online than consumers exposed to fewer tweets.

Compete, part of Boston-based Kantar Media, looked at 7,800 Web users, analyzing their online buying activity from Aug. 1 through Oct. 14. One-third of the consumers were exposed to at least one retail tweet, while another third were Twitter users who hadn’t seen a retail tweet. The final one-third represented "the average Internet user," according to the report.

Six-hundred-and-sixty-five retail sites were involved in the study, including Walmart, Apple, Amazon, Pottery Barn and Groupon.

@Chris_Heine Christopher Heine is a New York-based editor and writer.