Best practices that top brands implemented during 2012 include offering social expression capabilities and rewards, creating social list and curation opportunities, enabling social discovery features, and using Interest Graph data, according to 8thBridge’s second annual Social Commerce IQ report.
The study revealed a number of new best practices as compared to the 2011 report, including an extended focus beyond simply increasing social network presence to include creating richer social shopping experiences that are directly integrated with, and driven from, the top players’ ecommerce sites.
The 2012 SCIQ: Retail report covered more than double the number of companies as the 2011 study, which focused entirely on retail brands. View an infographic detailing the report’s findings.
The report also reflected a major shift in social commerce strategy that is perhaps best exemplified by increasing interest in Pinterest, which has been adopted among 78 percent of IR 500 companies in less than a year but has not generated a corresponding rise in traffic or sales conversion.
Pinterest emphasizes curation and the concept of an Interest Graph that creates more meaningful connections based on things that interest people rather than simply who they know.
Wade Gerten, CEO of 8thBridge, said, “Three types of companies have emerged as leaders in this year’s report – the first is ecommerce companies that have deeply integrated social functionality into their sites, the second is ‘in-transition’ companies that do well in all social commerce areas, and the third is strong viral companies that score exceptionally well in social network branding and referral traffic.”
The top retailers identified in the SCIQ report included many who were new both to the SCIQ 25 list as well as this year’s IR 500 rankings. Based on a weighted total of four key success factors, the top 25 companies are:
- AE.com (American Eagle Outfitters)
Other key usage statistics emerged, including:
- Facebook upstream traffic is now 2.46%
- Pinterest upstream traffic is now 0.11% (low)
- Twitter upstream traffic is now: 0.06% (a distant third)
- 35% of companies researched had apps on Facebook that were not functioning and/or were out of date.
- 51% of companies have incorporated the Pin It button
Additionally, the report included results from a survey of 1,819 U.S. residents between July 9 and July 12, 2012, regarding their Facebook usage and interest in social commerce. Key findings include:
- 70 percent of respondents would rather hear about a new product from a Facebook friend, than from a brand.
- 57% have asked their friends on Facebook for advice before purchasing a product.
- 31% say they don’t share products on social networks, while 63% say they share on Facebook, 25% on Twitter, and 22% on Pinterest.
- 64% said that more Facebook “likes” on a product do not increase the likelihood that they will buy that product.
- 44% say they are most likely to discover new products compared to 21% on Pinterest and 13% on Twitter, but 37% don’t pay attention to posts about products.
- 56% do not share things on social networks to get rewards.
- Study shows how social networks perform for retailers (infographic)
- If you have a PayPal account you can sell on Pinterest
- Social marketers now need to add Pinterest to their arsenal
- Only 10 percent of e-retailer 500 firms sell directly on Facebook
- Social media lags as ecommerce traffic source
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