ADOTAS – Sociable Labs, a company that looks at the ways social sharing and recommendations can benefit retailers, released a study yesterday that dug into… well, some of the ways social sharing and recommendations can benefit retailers. Culled from answers provided by 1,088 respondents — people who said they shopped online at least once per quarter and used Facebook at least once per month — the study paints a picture of a quite product-engaged Facebookship, with over half of online shoppers reporting to have “Liked” products on the network, a third of those who chose to follow a link to a retailer’s site proceeding to make a purchase, and more than four-fifths of people who made purchases that way turning around and sharing information about the products they purchased with their own networks. And yet, even with those numbers, the study found some hesitancy among socially active online shoppers — nearly three-quarters of respondents said they’d be more likely to share information about their purchases if it stayed on the retailer’s site rather than posting to their own profiles. Sociable Labs, as a result, suggested more retailers offer that on-site-only kind of sharing as an option.
A breakdown of some of those numbers: According to the study, 56 percent of online shoppers said they’ve clicked “Like” buttons related to products, and 38 percent said they’ve shared comments about products they’ve bought. Their friends take note: 62 percent of all online shoppers said they read product-related posts from their friends on Facebook. Of that 62 percent, 75 percent said they’ve clicked on those posts to the retailer’s site, and 53 percent said they’d purchased something once they got there. Among people who’ve made a purchase like this — through a friend’s Facebook recommendation — 81 percent say they’ve recommended products to their friends via Facebook as well. The end result, the study determined, was that 25 percent of all online shoppers have made a purchase through social sharing.
As the study’s authors see it, this all indicates something about the way online shoppers place trust in their friends and acquaintances: By seeing the kind of purchases people in their networks are making, social media users can develop a sense of who shares their tastes and sensibilities and, as such, put some stock in the purchases those people share. This in turn can help build up affinity for retailers or brands.
Then there’s the 73 percent of respondents who said they’d be more likely to share information about their purchases if that information didn’t post to their profile. For those users, the study’s authors recommended more on-site sharing for retailers. In general, the authors recommended more opportunities, and more efficient opportunities, for sharing, and for incorporating deals into those sharing initiatives. It’s not enough to have a lot of fans — retailers need to give their fans something to roll with.
Sociable’s vice president of marketing, Darby Williams, detailed some of those findings on the Sociable Labs blog, and you can check out some of the charts from the study below.