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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : January 10, 2013

Reports: Social, catalogs influential during 2012 holidays

Over the 2012 holidays a couple of interesting data points were found by researchers: first, that social media use decreased but that traditional ad form catalogs helped push more sales.

by Kristina Knight

According to new data out from LifeStreet Media, Facebook app usage was up overall for the Christmas holiday thanks in part to new devices. However, usage on Christmas day plummeted while on New Year's Day skyrocketed.

Some of the most popular Facebook apps were - and remain - social media apps. But what is interesting is that core social consumers are doing more through their favorite socnets but those users aren't necessarily bringing more people into the social space. The research shows that Facebook's uniques dropped over the 2012 holidays, but those who remained 'online' did more through the social network.

Meanwhile, don't count out catalogs. According to new data out from Baynote and the etailing group, catalogs are still influencing purchases - in some cases more than social media outlets. Over the 2012 holiday season, the report notes catalogs influenced double the shoppers that Pinterest and Twitter did - and that is for both online and in-store shoppers. Other interesting findings include:

• Paper catalogs influenced 81.9% more in-store purchases, 42.9% more online purchases than Facebook
• Paper catalogs were more likely to influence Gen-X and Baby Boomers, Social Media was most likely to influence Gen-Y and Millennials
• 40% of tablet owners browsed the mobile web for gift ideas, 28.4% of smartphone owners did so
• 23% of shoppers used retailer apps to complete a purchase

"While it is important to embrace new forms of marketing, successful organizations recognize that all direct to consumer efforts are part of an omni-channel strategy to reach different consumer segments," said Dan Darnell, Vice President of Marketing, Baynote. "Younger consumers may be more influenced by social and online purchases while older consumers will continue to use paper catalogs and buy in-store. As the lines between these start to blur, making sure that all forms of marketing reinforce each other is key to creating a seamless experience across touch points."

Perhaps of most importance, the study shows that digital efforts were key in influencing purchases across the board, especially reviews. Researchers found that online reviews influenced about one quarter (24.1%) of in-store purchases and 32.9% of online purchases.

Tags: 2012 holiday shopping, Baynote, catalog, ecommerce trends, LifeStreet Media, social marketing, social shopping

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