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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : November 18, 2008

Consumers could be encouraged to shop via socnets

Shopping may yet come to social networking. The ability to view comments and special offers would encourage many online shoppers to purchase via social networks, according to a recent survey by Harris Interactive and commissioned by ecommerce solutions provider, Volusion.

by Helen Leggatt

Consumers are increasingly turning to social networks to gather information on which to base purchasing decisions, found the survey of nearly 2,500 online shoppers aged 18 and over across the U.S.

Over a quarter (27%) said viewing comments on items for sale would encourage them to shop on social networks and 30% said special sales and promotions would do so.

"Since the birth of ecommerce, ten years ago, consumers have come to expect an advanced level of online shopping experience," said Kevin Sproles, CEO and founder of Volusion. "Beyond easy navigation and check out, consumers want online shopping to be integrated with the way they communicate with their peers, making their preferences and interests known on social networks (such as MySpace and Facebook) and enabling retailers to develop a more intimate relationship with them."

Additional results from the survey include:

- 92% said brand is at least somewhat important to initially attracting them to an online shopping web site

- 88% said that appealing web design is a factor in initially attracting them to a website

- 50% said special online-online offers would encourage them to shop online more frequently

- 48 % said easy-to-use features as a very important feature for initially attracting them to an online shopping website

- 32% would shop online more if sites were easier to use

- 24% would shop online more if checkout procedures were easier.

A recent study from Guidance also found that social media were becoming increasingly influential on shoppers looking for online bargains.

Tags: Facebook, MySpace, promotions, reviews, social media, social network, user comments, Volusion

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