A new study published by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EUI) and sponsored by Lyris, found some noteworthy information about purchasing decisions and preferred marketing channels.
Here’s what consumers had to say:
- Thirty-seven percent of consumers prefer email, followed by printed catalogues and personal referrals when they are initially introduced to a product.
- Thirty-six percent of consumers use personal referrals, followed by trusted websites and email when they are about to purchase a product.
- Thirty-seven percent of consumers prefer that the brand follow up with them via email, followed by printed catalogues and personal referrals after they’ve made a purchase.
- More than half of consumers prefer to engage with brands through their company website, followed by email and third-party websites. Only 4 percent prefer social media.
These results make it look like using social media platforms to connect with consumers looking to make purchases is not possible. However, the age demographic of this study was mainly for those 65 years and older. In the IRI poll performed in the fourth quarter of 2012, the study found that 40 percent of those aged 18 to 34 (Millennials) use social media sites to get coupons and that 22 percent research products on social media sites. Millennials are much more comfortable using social media channels to buy a product.
Marketers need to use the social media space to engage consumers, build brand loyalty, and generate leads and sales. Although consumers know that the brand’s ultimate goal is to sell them a product, they want to build a real relationship with the brand before making a purchase. Following are two social tools used in social media sales:
Chirpify is a social commerce service, which allows consumers to make purchases through their favorite social sharing sites. When purchasing with Chirpify, consumers only have to reply to a post or tweet to buy the product. According to Tech Crunch, major brands like Adidas, Green Day, the Portland Trailblazers, and Snoop Dogg have all achieved retail success using the platform. Recently, Chirpify announced that it will be eliminating PayPal from the transaction process. It will also now acceptcredit cards and debit cards.
Pinterest is Sales-Actionable
Pinterest is a social sharing platform that was designed for social commerce. According to Bizrate Insights, 43 percent of Pinterest users use the platform to associate with retailers or brands that they identify with. And, 70 percent of Pinterest users are on the platform to get inspiration on what to buy.