Consumers engage with retailers on Facebook more than they do on the retailer websites.
Nine in ten consumers say how much they spend is impacted by their social media engagement with a brand. And FourSquare has virtually no impact on consumer purchasing.
These are some of the findings of a study released Tuesday by Infosys, a software services company based in India.
‘Rethinking Retail’ is a report on interviews with 1,000 consumers and 50 retailers across the United States.
In addition to the impact of social media on spend, the study reveals how retailers are struggling to create the kind of consistent and personalized experience online and in stores that drives increased sales.
The study reveals that consumers interact with retailers’ Facebook pages (38 percent) more than the brands’ own websites (36 percent); a difference that is significantly more pronounced for younger consumers.
And 89 percent of those who interact with a retailer online through any social media outlet say that the interaction has an impact on their purchase.
Women are twice as likely as men to be influenced by Pinterest and YouTube influences twice as many men as women, says the study.
Only 2 percent of all people polled say that FourSquare has any influence on their purchase.
Further, the study reveals that nearly two-thirds of consumers say that consistency plays a role in their tendency to spend with a brand (63 percent).
A third (34 percent) say high consistency across a brand’s channels would mean a greater spend, while a lack of consistency results in a reduction in their spending (39 percent).
Among its other findings, the Infosys study says that lack of technology is the most common factor (38 percent) preventing retailers from creating a more integrated customer experience within their organization.
“Creating a consistent experience across all physical and digital touchpoints has a direct impact on sales,” says Sandeep Dadlani, senior VP and regional head (Americas) – Retail, CPG and Logistics at Infosys.
“However with the dominance of social media, creating a consistent and personalized relationship with consumers is now much harder. Retailers and brands need to arm themselves with the technology that can ensure their fans and brand advocates receive the same personalized service across channels to increase sales.”
Infosys commissioned a technology market researcher, Vanson Bourne to undertake the research upon which this report is based. Two sets of interviews were conducted in December 2013.
The first consisted of 1000 interviews with US consumers and the second consisted of 50 interviews with marketing decision-makers in retailers with more than 300 physical stores, says the company.
RMN Digital comments: While social networking companies, such as Facebook, claim that there are over 1 billion social media users, a research study based on a sample of mere 1000-odd respondents is meaningless.
As part of their sales gimmicks, companies keep releasing findings from such armchair studies and surveys to entice the gullible consumers or enterprise buyers. You can simply ignore all such studies and their findings.