Social media interactions are a primary influence for just three percent of visitors to e-retail websites in the UK, according to new research.
The findings, from ForeSee Results indicated that more traditional marketing techniques are better drivers to retailers’ web sites, with search engine results influencing 13 percent of visitors and promotional emails influencing 10 percent.
As part of a study of nearly 10,000 visitors to the biggest e-retail websites in the UK (determined by traffic, according to IMRG), customer experience analytics firm ForeSee Results used a patented methodology created at the University of Michigan to examine how social media trends could have year-long implications. Similar research was also released today based on U.S. social media trends, and both reports are available as free downloads on www.ForeSeeResults.com.
Key findings of the report include:
• Familiarity with the site, company or brand is the most common influencer of a website visit (46% of site visitors). This highly influential group of visitors are also the most satisfied (75 on a 100-point scale), most likely to purchase (75) and most likely to recommend (76).
• The least satisfied customers (64) are those who have visited a retailer’s site after receiving a message directly from the company on a social network.
In terms of how respondents wanted to hear from retailers, nearly one-fifth said that they didn’t want to hear from retailers at all; the other 80 percent had definite opinions on what channel they liked best:
• The most preferred method for communication was promotional emails with 62 percent
• Social media scored just two percent of the vote
• In last place was radio outreach and mobile communications with one percent each.
• Of the two percent who preferred communicating through social media, 33 percent said Facebook was the first-choice platform.
“Every retailer should know how many customers are influenced by promotional emails, advertising on Facebook or word-of-mouth recommendations, and furthermore, they should know which group are most likely to buy,” said Larry Freed, President and CEO of ForeSee Results and author of today’s report.
“They should also know how people want to hear from them and how well they’re doing when it comes to communicating through those channels. Serious thought needs to be given to finding out whether social media is worth the investment for their business, and then if the answer is yes, they need to make the most of it by making sure that interactions on social media meet the needs and expectations of customers. Otherwise, the effort is wasted and could even be detrimental to the business.”
The report is available on ForeSee Results’ website: http://www.foreseeresults.com/research-white-papers/social-media-marketing-2011-form.shtml