Study Says Social Media Heavily Influences Holiday Shoppers

The Holiday Season is a busy time for online retailers and for many companies it can make or break a sales year. Thankfully, there are more ways than ever to reach potential customers online. A new report from market research firm comScore points to a significant uptick in online shoppers who are coming across deals on social networks and following through all the way to the checkout. Here are the details, as reported by Tech Crunch:

In an interesting twist to the usual online spending reports, comScore dug a little deeper with respondents on the influence of social media on their holiday shopping behavior. According a survey taken last week, 28 percent of shoppers surveyed said that social media has influenced their purchases. Consumer-generated product reviews, like those seen on both retail sites and standalone review sites was the most common form of social media that had influenced holiday purchases (13 percent of respondents), followed by an expert product review (11 percent).

Discounts and special promotions advertised through social networking sites (including Facebook and Twitter) also spurred purchases among online shoppers:

Seven percent of respondents said they took advantage of deals and offers advertised on Facebook Fan pages while while 6 percent said they were influenced by a friend’s Facebook status update referring to a particular product. This is a really compelling factoid for any online site that uses Facebook Connect to allow users to update status with deals and purchases from their site. Five percent of respondents said they had followed a company on Twitter to take advantage of special offers and deals, while 3 percent said that a friend’s “tweet” about a product influenced their purchase behavior.

Now that the numbers are in, it's worth asking yourself: Is your company taking the proper steps to bring in customers through social media?

Photo by Flickr user Fosforix V432J7DTR76X.