Social commerce is fast becoming a reality, a new survey shows. Forty-two percent of online consumers report that they have employed social media services to evaluate products or to find deals.
These are the findings of the 2011 Social Commerce Study, a joint research project by Shop.org, comScore and Social Shopping Labs. The survey covered 1,787 adult online shoppers in April 2011. According to the survey, 42% of online consumers have followed a retailer proactively through Facebook, Twitter or a retailer’s blog, and the average person follows about six retailers.
As we reported a couple of weeks back, the defined in Wikipedia) social shopping (co-browsing), collaborative purchasing (collective buying power), collaborative filtering (social recommendations), and even collaborative funding (e.g. Crowdfunder)., with companies such as Groupon and LivingSocial receiving billions in venture capital. Social commerce can be considered the latest evolution of e-commerce and online business, which goes beyond simple buyer and seller transactions to encompass collaborative activities, such as (as
The majority of respondents (58%) to the Shop.org/comScore/Social Shopping Labs survey said they follow companies through social networking sites to find deals, while nearly half (49%) say they want to keep up to date on products. More than one-third also follow retailers for information on contests and events (39%).
Social media increasingly serves as gateways to online commerce. More than half of Facebook users (56%) say they have clicked through to a retailer’s website because of a Facebook post, while over two-thirds of Twitter users (67%) say a post has spurred them to click through to a website.
The appetite for buying directly through social networks appears strong: one-third of shoppers say they would be likely to make a purchase directly from Facebook (35%) or Twitter (32%).
Many online shoppers are using smartphones as well. The survey finds 42% of Twitter users access the site via their mobile phone at least once a day, along with 34% of Facebook users. Shoppers are also using mobile devices for research and information while shopping in stores. Nearly half of consumers (47%) have accessed customer reviews in store using their mobile devices.
Eight in 10 (82%) online consumers are aware of group-buying sites, such as Groupon, LivingSocial and Gilt City, though only 19% of survey respondents have actually made a purchase through one of the sites. Those who do leverage group-buying sites appear to be enthusiasts, as the majority of consumers (57%) have spent over $100 through these sites to date.
This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com