Aside from debating whether the title should be “affects” or “effects”, consider that article from eMarketer. The tagline is “Consumers trust friends’ opinions and access them on the go while shopping”.
Knowledge Networks and MediaPost Communications surveyed teen and adult social media users for “The Faces of Social Media” study and found that, in May 2011, 40% of respondents accessed social media via their mobile phones. This was an increase from 28% who reported doing the same in September 2010.
Additionally, 37% of US social media users trust what their friends and family members say about a brand or product on social media, compared to only 10% who trust what strangers say. Drilling down to specific social elements, 26% trust what friends and family members say in blog posts, 25% trust their posts on social media sites and 20% trust their tweets. This is compared to 7% who trust the blogs and posts of strangers, and 5% who trust strangers’ tweets.
Would you say that’s an accurate description of yours or your friends’ use of social media and specifically your shopping habits? Going forward with mobile applications and mobile shopping habits, companies will need to account for different types of consumers. Personally, for myself and my peers, I’m just as willing to accept the opinions and views of strangers just as often (if not more so) than my friends and family and associates. If I’m looking to buy a new television, I’ll ask my friends what they think, but I trust the consumer reports of others who have that particular model or brand I’m looking for, irregardless of whether my friends have it or not. And yet, studies like the one above show that the social aspect is driving purchases, so in the future, people may only make purchases based on recommendations from immediate friends.
So here’s the question of the day for you – in your website efforts, specifically your online shopping and e-commerce store efforts, how are you incorporating social aspects? How are you letting consumers comment on your products and recommend them to their friends? How are you letting them share the shopping experience with others? Do you provide incentives for people who recommend you and your products to others? And even more importantly, as social media is supposed to be an open and honest conversation, how are you letting people criticize your product…and you?
As part of a company wide initiative, Evolve Systems is breaking into more of an e-commerce and e-marketing role, going hands on with clients and helping them promote and market their brand and products online. In addition to providing the web tools and technologies you need to power your website and shopping cart, we will also help you market your products, optimize your social media campaigns, help you track analytics, and even develop unique content to drive and promote your brand.