Social Commerce

Top Social Commerce Survey Findings (Ripple6)

Top line findings from a social commerce survey of 1,000 frequent US online shoppers in August 2009 by the e-tailing group and Ripple6, a provider of social media services to online retailers.

Key Findings – Social Commerce: Conversations Among Consumers Survey

1. Shoppers are Social

– 67% spend at least 1 hour per week on social networking sites
– 41% are inclined to join and be active participants in online communities that share information about favorite products and brands
– 83% of online shoppers expressed interest in sharing information about their purchases with people they know

2. Sharing Influences Purchasing

– 43% make purchases as a result of time spent on social networking sites
– 73% agree that “people like me” are the most trusted sources when making a shopping purchase
– Pre-purchase opinions from others influence buying decisions for 74% of these online shoppers
– Product recommendations from friends (46%) are almost twice as valuable as those from merchants (24%)

3. Shoppers Want to Connect

– 65% see value in connecting directly with other shoppers who bought similar products –2 out of 3 would be likely to join a community of likeminded shoppers if invited via email
– The #1 reason for joining would be to share information that will help make smarter buying decisions
– 67% are likely to purchase more based on recommendations from people in a community in which they are a participant
– 62% would be inclined to frequent a retailer they have shopped before if they could be part of a community

Commentary: It’s always nice to have survey results such as this to complement hard social commerce data on conversion rates, repurchase-rates, and AOV (average order value).  Not convinced though that the results necessarily point to a need for shopping “communities” (community n. social group organized around common values, norms and interests) or even cloud-communities of shoppers (distributed communities with fingers in various different social network pies) – the speciality of Ripple6.  Personally, as a believer in the “you-can’t-create-communities-only-help-them” school of thought, I think the future of social commerce lies in creating social shopping tools not communities – information and communication tools that help people choose and get great deals.

For more information on Ripple6, check out this Scoble interview with Sang Kim, Ripple6 CEO.

Chartered psychologist specialising in consumer behaviour, wellbeing and technology. Certified CX professional experienced in Design Thinking. A researcher, writer and speaker, Paul is head of Digital Insight at SYZYGY.

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