Social Shopping and Consumer Influence

Posted by Katie Morse on September 2nd, 2009

In a blogspotting article by Business Week, the results of a social commerce study on myYearbook were revealed.

This study revolved around the interaction of social media and e-commerce, which has yet to reach its full potential and gain widespread traction (though some notable exceptions exist, including Zappos and Dell).

A few things become clear when reading the results

  1. A overwhelming percentage of respondents (83%) have not posted information about a purchase they’re planning to make on their profile or in a status message in order to gather their friends opinions.
  2. People are more likely to ask about “Small ticket” items such as movie tickets, music recommendations and video games instead of  “large ticket” items, such as vacation destinations, new homes, or appliances.

We believe that the payoff for consumer adoption of social shopping can have huge impacts to  bottom-line revenues, even for small ticket items in the short-term.


As you can see, the majority of social network users have not vetted purchase decisions with their online friends. But of the 17%, or more than 5,700 who have, their responses are surprising:

* 81% received advice from their friends and followers

* 74% of those who received advice were influenced by it

That is a huge statistic.  To translate these percentages into real numbers, out of the 30,000+ people polled, just over 4,000 were influenced by advice received from their personal network about a potential purchase decision.

E-Commerce companies and retailers may still be figuring our how to integrate their platforms with social media tools to socialize the buying cycle, but the potential is there, and the payoff could be huge.

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