66% of Online Shoppers of Top 40 Retail Sites Use Facebook Regularly

A recent report by Foresee Results reveals that although social media was not the primary driver to top retailer websites during the holiday season, the consumers that did arrive at retail sites via a social media interaction were highly likely to purchase those products, especially offline.

Just 5% of online holiday shoppers reported being primarily influenced to visit top retailer sites by social media, compared to the 19% of website visitors that came to the website from a promotional email, and 8% from search engine results, as reported by MarketingProfs.

Foresee also set out to measure the quality of the website traffic using a 100-pt scale for satisfaction, likelihood to buy online, and likelihood to buy offline.  The results for visitors arriving at top retail sites via social media were favorable:

  • Advertising on social networks (which reached 2% of respondents) yielded a satisfaction score of 79, with visitors’ likelihood to purchase offline at 76 and likelihood to purchase online at 75
  • Messages directly from a company via a social network (which also reached only 2% of respondents) yielded a satisfaction score of 78, with likelihood to buy offline at 76 and online at 75
  • Likelihood of 76 to buy offline was the top score in this category, shared only with visitors coming from ‘mobile phone text messages or alerts’

Customers also weighed in with preferences on how they’d like to be contacted by the top 40 retail companies.  While only 8% listed social media as their ‘preferred’ method of hearing from companies, over half were willing to connect ‘in some way’ on social media, with Facebook as the preferred site:

  • 40% chose Facebook as their first choice for receiving communications from a company via social media
  • 4% chose Twitter
  • 2% each chose YouTube, LinkedIn, and Myspace

Measurement of the social network use of online shoppers for the top 40 retail sites increased for all social sites, with the exception of Myspace:

  • 66% use Facebook regularly, up from 56% in 2010
  • 23% use YouTube
  • 13% use Twitter
  • 11% use LinkedIn
  • 10% use Myspace (down from 15% last year)
  • only 24% don’t use social networks (significantly down from last year’s 31%)

Survey respondents were also very satisfied with the presence of top 40 retailers on Facebook.  A July 2010 report from ACSI rated Facebook users’ overall satisfaction at only 64 (out of 100), while respondents’ satisfaction with the top 40 retail sites was much higher, 78 out of 100.  However, the interesting twist is that customers rate the top 40 retailers’ presence on Facebook with a satisfaction score of 80, higher than the scores for Facebook or the e-retail sites.

See the full report from Foresee here: Social Media Marketing: Do Retail Results Justify Investment? Results were based on a survey of almost 12,000 visitors to the top 40 e-retail websites.