New York -- Brands and retailers have the most followed or “Liked” pages on social media, according to WSL/Strategic Retail. Nearly two-thirds (61%) of users who “Fan” social media pages, are choosing to follow brands and retailers -- beating out celebrities and TV shows which are followed by just over half of users.
The finding was unveiled as part of the company’s Buzz to Buy 3.0 trend report, its third annual survey measuring how the power of Social Media and online information are impacting buying decisions.
“The new shopping mantra is ‘information is power,’” said Candace Corlett, President of WSL/Strategic Retail. “People are leveraging the abundance of technology to learn everything they want to know about products anywhere they want – be it a quick price comparison on their iPad while at the mall or in-store, or visiting Pinterest for decorating tips. The art and science of digital marketing has become essential for engaging consumers and targeting the right message to the right shopper at the right time.”
Additional findings of the report include:
- Not so social. While the amount of time Americans spend online continues to increase (up three hours per week over 2011), social media usage has declined for the first time – down 10% in 2012 versus the previous year. Generation X, boomers and seniors are leading the change while usage by Millennials remains consistent.
- Watch Millennials to see the future of shopping. Millennials showed the highest increase of time spent online – a full 25 hours per week (up five hours per week over 2011). In addition to relying heavily on their Social Networks for information about products they want to buy (40%), they are also the leaders in utilizing mobile phones to help them shop (63%) – resulting in a 15-point margin over Gen X shoppers.
- Shopping gets mobile. With the rise of portable devices, shoppers are using their smartphones (42%) and tablets/e-readers (16%) to access product information and engage their friends in buying decisions while shopping in-store. In fact, mobile phones and tablets each accounted for 10% of online purchases made in the past three months. Shopping apps further increase mobile shopping activity, now ranking No. 4 among the most downloaded apps (following games, social media and music).