TECHNOLOGY

Survey: Social media driving shopping decisions

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Thirsty for meaningful brand interactions, consumers are turning to social media more regularly.

While it’s still largely used for socializing and product discovery, social media is increasingly influencing consumer purchasing decisions, according to “Shopping’s Social Influence,” a new report from digital advertising and analytics firm Adlucent.

Consumers still largely kick-off their shopping journeys on search engines or Amazon, but social media is having a growing influence as 39% of respondents said social media posts/ads at least somewhat influence their purchase decisions.

Another 45% said they at least somewhat base decisions on product recommendations from influencers/celebrities they follow on social media, the report said.

While consumers seek out social interactions, they aren’t actively engaging with brands. Across six major social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, Periscope), 75% of respondents follow no specific brands, according to the report. However, they could be persuaded.

Across seven major social media sites, 46% of respondents said they would prefer tailored social media ads. Specifically, 68% want tailored Facebook ads, 63% want tailored ads on YouTube, and 67% want tailored Twitter ads, the report said. Consumers stated that personalized ads are less disruptive and give them more control — factors that encourage more frequent and genuine engagement. This could be a huge opportunity for brands that are focusing on social engagement, but may not be investing in social ads, the report suggested.

Consumers are also thirsty for social commerce. While today’s consumers still purchase primarily through marketplace sites like Amazon (56%) or physical retail stores (34%), 43% said they would be at least somewhat willing to purchase a product directly through Facebook if given the option, followed by Twitter (27%) then Pinterest and Instagram (26%). If brands can find a way to take advantage of this demand in an organic and personal manner, it will open up a new revenue stream that has yet to reach its potential, the report suggested.

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MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Report: Mall traffic up with teens

BY CSA STAFF

Teens are returning to one of their former favorite destinations.

According to a survey by Willian Blair of teens and young adults, teens are visiting malls more in 2016 than they were in 2015, benzinga reported.

In other survey results, teens indicated that the mall (24%) was the most popular place for them to meet with friends, beating out movie theaters (21%), restaurants (21%) and sports clubs/extracurricular activities (10%).

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DESIGN/CONSTRUCTION

Innovative concept changes things up at Santa Monica Place

BY Marianne Wilson

Out with the old, in with the new at Macerich’s Santa Monica Place, in Santa Monica, California.

WithMe, an interactive brick-and-mortar shopping experience that features limited runs of traditional and pure-play retail brands, has opened three new fashion pop-ups in its flagship space at the mall.

The three new concepts debuting at WithMe are The Original Retro Brand, which recreates vintage apparel with classic logos from the past and present; Hot-As-Hell, a women’s lifestyle brand offering swimwear, lingerie and beach lifestyle apparel; and good hYOUman, a lifestyle brand that aspires to change the world by sharing stories and doing “good.”

The new pop-ups replace WithMe’s original Santa Monica Place tenant, a nearly 8,000-sq.-ft. two-level temporary “smart showroom” for department store retailer Century 21, which had a six-week run.

WithMe designs builds and leases short-term omnichannel retail stores. It offers brands a complete tech-driven store solution, including fixtures, POS systems and signage.

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