Today, we are publishing a new consumer research study called Social Impact, based on a survey of 1088 online shoppers who use Facebook, about the influence and impact of social sharing (sharing comments about products with friends) on consumer purchases. The survey, conducted between January 15 and February 8, 2012, looked into the minds of online shoppers to reveal how they view social sharing and how it fits into their shopping and purchase decision-making process.
We included many of the questions we’ve received from retailers and media companies about consumer behavior and motivation as it relates to social sharing, including:
Here are the top takeaways from this study:
1. Social Sharing is a mainstream shopping activity for discovering what products to buy
62% of online shoppers have read product-related comments from their friends on Facebook (example below).
The #1 value to shoppers in reading social sharing is that it “helps them discover a product they might want to buy”.
2. Social Sharing causes consumers to act
75% of shoppers who read social sharing comments have clicked on the product link in their friends’ Facebook posts, taking them to the product page on a retailer’s website. 53% of the shoppers who have clicked through to the retailer’s site have made a purchase.
A core reason for these actions is that shoppers see social sharing as one of the most helpful tools for finding the right product to buy.
3. Once consumers are exposed to positive social sharing experiences, it creates a virtuous cycle of social sharing and purchase
81% of consumers who purchase products they learn about through social sharing are valuable social sharers themselves, thus creating a cycle of sharing and buying.
The Social Impact Study validates that consumers are highly influenced by their friends in considering what products to buy. And that social sharing is a major source of product discovery for a significant percentage of consumers. If you haven’t already incorporated social sharing applications into your eCommerce experience, we recommend that you do.
To drive significantly higher-velocity sharing, you should consider leveraging Facebook’s Timeline Apps initiative. To learn about our “All-in-one Social Sharing and Curation Suite – EverShare™”, please click here.