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Stats reveal importance of social media for online shopping

20 February 2014 - 11:21 by Graham Miller

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A new set of figures published by MobStac, have outlined just how influential social media services can be when it comes to shopping online.

It is claimed that three quarters of all e-commerce sales were made last year as a direct result of engagement through social platforms, including Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

This indicates that consumers are not only using such sites to interact with retailers and brands they love, but also to share their own purchases, with 40 per cent of people choosing to buy online after having distributed a prospective product to friends through social media for advice.

Sites offering online shopping also saw a significant upturn in visitors who were directed to their pages and products via social media. Revenue rises of almost a fifth were recorded as a result of activity on these portals in the first six month of 2013.

Analysts also provided advice for retailers looking to leverage social media to encourage customers to part with cash and do more than simply scroll past their promoted posts.

On Twitter the most effective content includes pictures and multimedia elements, which result in people clicking through to find out more, as well as making sure that people retweet relevant information to their own followers, effectively advertising a retailer or brand without it costing the company a penny.

Sites like Twitter and Facebook are also more effective as retail channels if they also have built-in shopping abilities, which mean that consumers can add items to a cart and even complete purchases without having to browse elsewhere.

The ties between social media sites and retailers are becoming stronger, especially as FB and Twitter look to monetise their platforms and make sure that they can survive on the ad revenue generated.