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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : May 14, 2012

How is social media meeting shoppers' needs?

Leo Burnett Worldwide, along with its marketing services branch, Arc Worldwide, have released the results of a study that reveal many Americans are using social media as part of their online shopping experience. Who are these social shoppers and how is social meeting their needs?

by Helen Leggatt

leo burnett.jpgA whopping 96% of Americans use social media. A significant number, 95 million, aged between 18 and 49, use social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook as part of their online shopping experience. Nearly three quarters (73%) are using social media a lot more than they did a year ago.

According to the study, "SocialShop", shoppers use social media to meet particular needs. If those needs aren't met, brands are likely to see a drop-off in Followers or Fans. Leo Burnett found that 44% of shoppers had broken off engagement with brands on Facebook because posts weren't relevant or of value.

The study segmented shoppers according to their needs. Marketers need to take a look at who is engaging with them on social media, and why, and use that information to better meet their needs. The six types identified by the study are:

- Savvy Passionista - a heavy social shopper who uses social media channels to stay connected with brands and broadcast the latest trends, brands and retailers;

- Opportunistic Adventurer - looks out for fun, unexpected content and deals;

- Strategic Saver - the comparison shopper who uses social media to find the best deals on the brands they want;

- Quality Devotee - uses social media to find reviews and ratings that shape purchasing decisions and validate choice;

- Efficient Sprinter - looks for the most popular and convenient/time-saving purchases;

- Dollar Defaulter - for whom it's all about price and finding the cheapest products available.

"People assign a different purpose and expectation to each social media channel they use," said Leo Burnett/Arc Worldwide SVP and strategy director, Masha Sajdeh. "Once marketers understand how people use social to shop, they can hone their marketing strategies and cater to different shoppers' needs to drive engagement now and in the future."

Tags: online shopping, research, social commerce, social media, social platform, social shopping

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