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Facebook Top Social Site for Retail Info, Promos

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More online consumers are using Facebook on a regular basis to find information about their favorite retail brands, whereas fewer consumers are turning to blogs, forums, and consumer review sites than they were a year ago, according to a new survey from Compete.

Moreover, Twitter is less popular than Facebook for finding retail information, but Twitter feeds are more successful than Facebook pages at influencing purchase decisions among users, the study found.

Among various social channels, more online consumers report using Facebook to find information about brands, according to Compete, while the use of retail forums and review sites is down:

  • 27% of surveyed online consumers visit official retail or consumer product Facebook pages at least once a month, up 3 percentage points (PPs) from the 24% who did so a year earlier.
  • 23% read or post on blogs, forums, consumer review sites, or discussion boards hosted by retailers on a monthly basis, down 6 PPs from the 29% who did so a year earlier.
  • 10% read Twitter messages from brands, down 1 PP from the 11% who did so a year earlier.

Below, additional findings from The Spring 2011 Online Shopper Intelligence report, based on a survey of 3,269 online buyers in the US.

Sales and Promotional Info Most Important


Among those who visit retailers' Facebook pages on a monthly basis, 56% say they do so to keep up to date on sales and promotions, while 29.0% do so to learn about a specific retailer.

Fewer consumers interact with Facebook pages for social reasons such to connect with others who like a specific brand (13.6%).

Influence of Facebook Pages

Facebook pages are influencing purchasing decisions: More than one in five online consumers say Facebook pages have been very influential (16.7%) or extremely influential (6.2%) in making a purchase decision.

Only 22.5% of online consumers say Facebook pages have no influence at all on their online purchase decisions.

Moreover, one-third (33%) of online consumers "like" six or more retailers or consumer products brands on Facebook.


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Twitter Feed

As with Facebook, most online shoppers are motivated to read brands' Twitter feed to find sales and promotions information and to learn more about a specific retailer, 58.7% and 32.9%, respectively.

However, nearly one-quarter of Twitter users (23.2%) are motivated to read brands' feed in order to connect with like-minded people, i.e., those who follow the same retailer (vs. 13.6% for Facebook users).

Influence of Retailers' Twitter Feed 

Even though Twitter is less popular overall, Twitter content is more successful at influencing purchase decisions than Facebook pages: Nearly two in five online consumers who user Twitter say retailers' feed has been very influential (25.0%) or extremely influential (12.5%) in making a purchasing decisions.

Only 14.5% of online consumers say retailers' Twitter feed has no influence at all on their online purchase decisions.

About the data: Findings from The Spring 2011 Online Shopper Intelligence report are based on a survey of 3,269 online purchasers from April 14 to May 5, 2011.


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