Although social media marketing has been a critical component of retail strategies in recent years, the impact on purchasing through the power of direct engagement with the consumer cannot be overstated.
As many as 86% of women shoppers say they are more likely to buy a brand they’ve never purchased when they begin to interact with that brand on social media, according to a survey from Influence Central.
Such engagement affects longer-term loyalty beyond prompting a first purchase: 87% say they are more likely to buy a brand more regularly that they check in or engage with on social media.
Along with the brand itself, product reviews and recommendations from third parties continue to serve as a guideline for how the modern female consumer shops. For example:
82% of women consumers say the ability to glean insights and recommendations from social media channels has changed the way they gather opinions and information;
81% of consumers say product reviews influence the way they shop; and
72% say the ability to check social media recommendations takes the guesswork out of buying a new product.
The respondents also said the following social media shares influence the way they shop:
Reader comments (51%); and
Life hacks (42%).
To conduct the survey, Influence Central interviewed more than 400 women shoppers via an online questionnaire that looked at motivational trends for shopping behavior and how an increasingly connected environment affects shopping habits.
Articles And TV Ads Drive Awareness, But Not Purchase
While these social media tactics have been shown to be effective in prompting consumers to make their next purchase, retailers also have to be aware of how they position more traditional methods. For example, only 1.9% of these consumers say seeing a TV ad impacts their decision to buy the product, while just 2.2% decide to buy a product when seeing an article or mention of it in a newspaper or magazine.
This means that while these forms of media generate awareness for products, they don’t generate sales and should be used mostly to get the brand/merchandise on the consumer’s mind.