I’ve been making my way through several recent reports about social media that all point to the same conclusions for retailers.
Get online and get social right now.
One of the reports I’ve been studying is from the McKinsey Global Institute that claims that companies utilizing social media networks can unlock $900 billion to $1.3 trillion in annual value. The report also states that one third of consumer spending could be influenced by social shopping.
One of the stats that I found the most interesting is that “only five percent of all communications and content use in the U.S. happens on social networks.” Considering the relatively short time social media has been influential—as well as the report’s other claim that 1.5 billion people on Earth now use social networks—I think that number is actually pretty significant.
It’s hard to imagine those figures doing anything but rapidly growing with more advanced technology and proliferation of new social media networks. This graph from the report showing how fast social technologies have been adopted helps support that claim:
During my social media panel at JCK Toronto, I told retailers that the reason they should at the very least have a presence on social media networks was that my friends and I were all researching, buying, and endorsing products on those networks. Well, it turns out that older demographics are the fastest growing in developed markets. According to the report, the share of U.S. social network users under 18 years of age dropped from 18 percent in 2009 to 15 percent in 2011, while users 35 and older grew from 41 to 47 percent.
An infographic on Fast Company’s website makes an even more convincing case that retailers should be engaged in social media, specifically Pinterest. Not only is the jewely/luxury/accessories category the most pinned category on the site, but the average order value when a user follows through on a purchase from Pinterest is nearly $180. That figure dwarfs the $70 and $80 average order value from someone buying from Facebook or Twitter influence.
So the bottom line is that not only are more and more people spending more and more of their limited time—and money—online, but they are also becoming even more social with friends, family, brands, and retailers. How willing are you to miss out on sales and relevance in the marketplace as the number of excuses not to develop an e-commerce and social media strategy dwindles?
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