Social-Media, Mobile Shopping Becoming the Norm

Main image: 
Courtesy of Pinterest

Shoppers’ use of Pinterest to connect to retailers has exceeded both their Facebook and Twitter use, according to the 2012 “Social and Mobile Commerce Study”—a joint research project by the National Retail Federation’s Shop.org division, digital business-analytics firm comScore and global-strategy and management consulting firm The Partnering Group.

Pinterest, a visual social-media platform, has already generated exceptional interest by consumers following retailers as individual Pinterest users are following an average 9.3 retail companies compared to the average 6.9 retailers they follow on Facebook and 8.5 retailers they track via Twitter.

“Pinterest has given retailers another channel to listen to and interact with both existing and new customers, telling an ongoing visual story through images of their products and brand spirit—a story that customers can then tell again to their friends and family members,” said Shop.org executive director Vicki Cantrell.

Overall, 38% of online consumers follow retailers through one or more social-networking sites.

The survey also found that company blogs, YouTube and Facebook command the majority of consumers’ social activity. Particularly: 70% of consumers who follow a retailer’s blog click through to the website; while 68% of consumers use YouTube to browse and research a retail company.

Not surprisingly, finding good deals, such as coupons, is still the leading reason for consumers following retailers online—although the reason has declined since last year, from 58% to 51%. Additionally:

[Image: Courtesy of Pinterest]

Social-Media, Mobile Shopping Becoming the Norm, p.2

Smartphone shoppers are also avidly sharing their location with friends, family and retailers. In particular, 33% of smartphone owners say they have shared their location with retailers. And location-based services, such as Groupon Now!, FourSquare and Facebook, are effectively helping retailers instantly reach new and existing customers by targeting special offers, discounts and coupons to their mobile devices once they’ve “checked-in.”

“For retailers, the possibilities are endless when it comes to enticing smartphone owners who may be within a few feet of their store or even already in the store, thanks to technology that lets shoppers who want to hear from retailers instantly interact with them,” said Jennifer Vlahavas, senior director at comScore. "And while check-in and store-location functionality are already gaining popularity, retailers have only just scratched the surface of using location data to better serve their customers. In-store shopping maps and customized shopping lists are a few of the possibilities that will cater to the consumer."

Additional details from the study include:

More than 1,500 online U.S. consumers participated in the survey in March; representative U.S. online adult-consumer demographics were sought.