eCommerce,

Most Retailers Miss the Mark on Social Media

April 10, 2018

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Most retailers are visible on social media. But they might not be doing such a great job.

Nearly 92% of all retailers have a shop now button on their posts, which send them to the website or app. This is according to a new study titled ‘The Social Shopping Report’, conducted by Astound Commerce Insights.

Retailers are also getting better at communicating via social channels, with over 79% of surveyed retailers offering direct messaging options. But contact details like email and phone numbers were often hard to find, said the study, with just 28% of the retailers providing basic contact info on their social sites.

The larger problem is that the many retailers are not posting what customers really want. The researchers noted that among the topics consumers really want to hear about is free shipping, which was highlighted in social media by only 7% of those in the survey.

The report followed a few dozen retailers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and took a peripheral look at Snapchat and Pinterest as well. Researchers looked at the freshness of the content, any tactics that might lead users to check out the merchandise, how retailers stacked up on variables like shipping, and the ease of direct communication.

QVC and Victoria’s Secret “reigned supreme” in the period, but Barnes & Noble was also “aggressive” in its messaging on social media, according to the report. Not surprisingly, Sephora’s social media content mirrored its stores, with “product displays [that] inspire social shoppers, leading with Twitter and Instagram,” Astound said.

Considering that the study was conducted over the holidays, retailers’ posts were “surprisingly” low on messages about promotions, at a time when shoppers are keen on finding deals and getting free shipping. “Given [the] desire for free shipping among shoppers, it’s surprising to see its low penetration” on social media, according to the report, which found shipping offers averaged 7% on Facebook, 11% on Twitter and 3% on Instagram (or 7% overall).

Short-term and last-minute deals, like exclusives and gift cards, are ideal initiatives to blast out on social media channels, Astound said.

Social media consumption continues to rise: Astound calculates that average use has risen in 2017 to 135 minutes per day and rising, up from 126 minutes in 2016.

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