Study: More consumers incorporating social media into shopping experience


CHICAGO — Almost 100 million Americans use social media to shop, according to a new survey.

Agency network Leo Burnett Worldwide and its marketing services arm, Arc Worldwide, released results of the "SocialShop" study Wednesday showing that 95 million Americans, or 42% of Americans, are shopping through social media, while almost 73% of people are using social media more than a year ago.

The study found that people of all ages are using such social networking sites as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Groupon as shopping tools. This includes 42% of social shoppers who reported using Facebook more than they did a year ago, while 55% are using daily deals more, and 46% have increased engagement on review sites and forums.

"It's no secret that social media is top of mind among brands," Leo Burnett/Arc Worldwide SVP and strategy director Masha Sajdeh said. "What isn't widely known is how brands should use social media to serve the needs of shoppers."

The study found that 44% of shoppers had stopped interacting with brands on Facebook due to a lack of relevant or valuable posts, indicating that using social media in the wrong way can have a bad effect on relationships, the Leo Burnett/Arc Worldwide study said.

The study then broke social shoppers down into six archetypes:

  • "Savvy Passionista:" The Social Trendsetter, a heavy social shopper who uses social media channels to stay connected with favorite brands;

  • "Opportunistic Adventurer:" The Daily Dealaholic who looks out for fun and unexpected deals;

  • "Quality Devotee:" The High Maintenance, High Standards Shopper who seeks out the best products available and uses social media to shape purchasing decisions and validate decisions;

  • "Strategic Saver:" The Black Belted Negotiator who uses social media to comparison shop and sticks with favorite brands;

  • "Efficient Sprinter:" The Few Dollars Shorter, Several Minutes Richer Shopper who looks to save time; and

  • "Dollar Defaulter:" The Dollar Sign Connosieur who looks for the cheapest products available.

"People assign a different purpose and expectation to each social media channel they use," Sajdeh said. "Once marketers understand how people use social [media] to shop, they can hone their marketing strategies and cater to different shoppers' needs to drive engagement now and in the future."

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