Social commerce trends

In a time when almost everybody has a Facebook account, social media is no doubt a viable platform for retail brands. “Tweets”, “pins” and “likes” have a strong potential to boost a brand or product’s sales, but a retailer must know where to start.

A new study by BI Intelligence reveals new trends in social commerce and highlights important data on user demographics. It also outlines the rise of the mobile and visual web as well as key challenges in capitalising on the power of these networks.

The growing use of mobile devices means buyers can easily compare prices and ask for advice from friends when making a purchase. In total, mobile accounts for less than 40 per cent of the time utilised on social media, the study found. Pinterest is at the 48 per cent mobile usage mark, while Facebook surpassed the 50 per cent mark. Together, they presently account for more than 56 per cent of all purchases via social media sites.

Moreover, visually enticing social media sites such as Wanelo, Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr are becoming a breeding ground for wish lists, fashion tips and shopping ideas, which are essentially user-generated catalogues.

This trend bodes well for these sites as 63 per cent of online buyers plan to browse through online catalogues before making a purchase, while 35 per cent will use Pinterest to buy an item, according to a study by mobile catalogue firm Zmags.

In terms of demographics, teens and people in their early 20s are comfortable with shopping online. They also view mobiles devices such as tablets and smartphones as a vital shopping tool.

The average users of Pinterest are between 30 and 49 years old, an age group with a sizeable disposable income. In addition, 80 to 85 per cent of Pinterest users are women.

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