This past holiday season, consumers had more ways to shop than ever before, online, offline, mobile, and even through Facebook. eCommerce company Baynote, put together a report card for each of these areas based on a consumer survey. The results aren’t surprising but still interesting, particularly as they relate to social media.
Overall, 84% of consumers said their online shopping experience was “good” or “excellent.” This was only 78% last year.
As you can see from the chart, retail websites were rated highest across the board. The biggest problem mentioned in this area was the ease of finding the product they wanted. 44.1% said they were frustrated by too many options when they used a searched engine. After that, they found that many of the offered links led to generic pages or sites that didn’t actually carry the product. Obviously, there’s room for improvement here.
Shopping on Facebook
When asked if they bought anything from a Facebook fan page, 91.4% of respondents said no. But here’s the kicker, 80.2% said that they weren’t even influenced by anything they saw on social media or their social media connections. Ouch.
On the flipside, 55% said that getting advice from friends on social networks was at least “somewhat important.”
Sounds like marketers still aren’t making the connection between social sharing and social shopping.
Beyond that, privacy was a big problem for potential Facebook shoppers. They gave it a C. The shopping experience and personalization both rated a B-, which was on par with smartphones and tablets. Frankly, I’m surprised they didn’t score lower in that area.
Overall, consumers gave Facebook a C+ on the report card, the lowest of all shopping avenues. Better luck next year.
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Taking it to the Streets
Mobile fared only slightly better than Facebook on the Baynote report card and I don’t get that. The saving grace was in the area of privacy. People felt more secure buying from their smartphone than from Facebook, but even better when shopping a retail site. What’s that all about?
Thinking this through, I’d guess they’re separating privacy from security. I’m not sure putting my credit card numbers into a phone app is secure, but I’m pretty sure the store I’m buying from, isn’t going to post my purchases on the web for all to see. With Facebook, I’m not so sure. I’ll trust a fan page with my credit card, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see a “Cynthia just bought a guitar” message pop-up on my friends’ feeds.
Some good news is that 49% of tablet owners used it to make a purchase. Tablet owners are still a very small portion of the overall ecommerce community, but it’s encouraging.
In spite of the fact that tablet shopping is easier than smartphone shopping, consumers gave it the same grade. Going forward, I would expect the tablet’s marks to come up to those of any online retail site, but we aren’t there yet.
The Baynote 2012 Holiday Online Shopping Survey is loaded with interesting nuggets. There are pages on cross-channel marketing, more specifics on privacy issues and specifics about personalization. It’s worth a look-see and all it will cost you is your contact information. Click here, if you want to check it out.