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If They Share It, Others Will Buy It.

It was bound to happen. All that liking, sharing and commenting is having a direct impact on consumer purchases. And it’s not that big of a surprise. After all, when you’re having lunch with a friend and she mentions where she found that fabulous chiffon scarf for such a great price, then you mentally take note to stop in there and see if there is a fabulous little number that works for you too. And so it goes … the social-sharing-to-purchasing continuum has begun.

We found a social media channel study from Sociable Labs to be eye-opening with its findings on how and when people share online and how those “shares” result in purchases for online retailers. The 2012 study looked specifically at online shoppers who were also Facebook users. Let’s go to the starting point of social sharing.

First: Social Sharing Happens

How many times have you clicked on a Like button while shopping online? According to the study, 56% of online shoppers have clicked on Like buttons relating to products, and 38% of online shoppers have shared comments with friends about products they have purchased.

Second: If They Share, Others Will Shop

Now the really good news. Once those sharers get to sharing, their shopping friends take notice. 62% of online shoppers have paid attention to those comments causing 47% of all shoppers to click on the product image that links them to the retailer’s site. Once those shoppers click on the shared product image, 53% of them purchased a product once they arrived at the retail site.

Third: Social Buyers Become Social Sharers

Those that made purchases based on a friend’s social sharing are actually some of the best customers you could ask for. Why? Because of these “Social Buyers”, 81% are “Social Sharers” too. That means we just went from a straight line to a virtual circle in a couple of clicks. These Social Sharers share twice as often as other social visitors and post to Facebook 2.6 times more often.

When asked how helpful social sharing ranked as an information source, 48% of respondents ranked it as extremely helpful, compared with 49% for Google Search – practically side by side. This is indicative of the power of social sharing and how a direct line can be drawn from all that online socializing to a retailer’s bottom line. How well marketers tap into the social sharing world going forward will make all the difference in how they harness the potential future of the online shopping experience.

If you’re ready to build a strategy and program that will optimize your customers’ social sharing, contact the experts at Customer Insight Group.

Sallie Burnett
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