Social Networking Drives Product Discovery


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In a new study called Social Impact by social commerce solutions company Sociable Labs, it's been found that 62% of online shoppers read product-related comments posted by Facebook friends. The study also has shown that 75% of these shoppers click on the link referrals.

Sociable Labs' study queried 1088 online shoppers/Facebook users, and investigated the influence social media sharing has in regards to consumer purchases. The survey, which was conducted between January and February, covered the following:

What percentage of consumers take action on social sharing
How consumer-to-consumer sharing influences referral visits and purchases
What drives shoppers to act on social sharing and how you can increase those actions
Why sharers share and what will make them share more
What the value of “Social Proofing” (i.e. seeing friend activity on a site) is to consumers

A key finding in the aforementioned 75% rate of link referral follow-through was that 53% of shoppers who'd clicked retailer links went on to make a purchase. The study suggests that social sharing is about as effective as Google Search when it comes to looking for products - 48% of those surveyed claimed that social sharing was "extremely helpful" or "very helpful" while browsing.

Social Proofing, the use of social sharing "proof" to display friend activity directly on an ecommerce site, was also shown to increase consumer confidence, with 33% claiming that they would shop on a site mentioned by other social network users - this number grew to 62% when users saw that their actual social network friends were making purchases. These results show that social proofing is becoming a mainstream mode of e-marketing. Think of how McDonald's always advertises how many billions customers tried their hamburgers, to get a better idea of the concept.

Darby Williams, VP of Marketing at Sociable Labs stated, "this study got into the minds of consumers to find out how friend-to-friend sharing influences the way they shop and buy online - We found that consumers discover what products to buy through social sharing, and then act on that information 75 percent of the time. Retailers have the ability to trigger this kind of sharing from their ecommerce sites, driving both significant referral visits and conversion uplift if they fully leverage it. Now with high-velocity ‘Frictionless Sharing’, social sharing can become one of the top drivers of both for almost any online retailer.”