Everyone is gearing up for the holiday season. While many businesses have said that they will be using social media sites this year to attract online shoppers and offering exclusive discounts to users, consumers are already scoping out discounts through social media networks.
The advertising agency Razorfish released the results of survey on Tuesday, suggesting that online businesses should start to see profits for the holiday season very soon, if not immediately. Cyber Monday, the Monday after Thanksgiving, falls on November 30 this year and has been the No. 1 online shopping day since its start in 2004, but online shoppers are looking to start their holiday shopping early this year.
One thousand online shoppers in 10 major US cities, covering 4 different age levels, were surveyed by Razorfish. All participants have broadband access, spent at least $150 online in the past six months, visited a social networking site such as YouTube, Facebook or MySpace, and have created some form of digital media like photos, videos, music, or news on the web to share. Razorfish dubbed the group “connected consumers.”
“Based on previous Razorfish consumer research, we have found that these ‘connected consumers’ roughly mirror the U.S. population with broadband access,” a company press release stated. “According to the Pew Internet and American Life Project, about 63 percent of all Americans today have a high-speed Internet connection, up from only 55 percent in 2008. This translates to roughly 200 million people, based on a July 2009 population estimate from the CIA World Factbook (total population 307,212,123, July 2009 estimate).”
Ninety-seven percent admitted to searching for a brand online. While just over 73 percent have left feedback or comments on companies social media pages, 69 percent have contacted companies via their actual website or third party websites such as Get Satisfaction.
Online experience can play a very important role in whether or not a consumer decides to purchase from that brand or company. An overwhelming majority, 97.09 percent, said that their online experience had made an influence as to whether or not that they have purchased from a specific brand.
When it came down to actually following or friending companies on social media sites, only a quarter of users said that they follow companies on Twitter, while 40.1% had befriended them on Facebook and/or MySpace. Forty-three percent of those that follow companies on Twitter said they do it for the exclusive deals and sales, while 96.89 percent said they ended up purchasing from that company eventually. Being able to get exclusive deals was the number one reason for why users friend the companies on Facebook and MySpace.
For a look at the survey in full, you can check it out here.
Razorfish isn’t alone in studying the link between holiday shopping and social networking sites. Last week, Performics and ROI Research found that nearly half would turn to social media sites to make purchasing decisions. About 46 percent said they have talked about or have recommended a product on Facebook. Another 44 percent have done the same on Twitter, and 36 percent on YouTube.
“The numbers are staggering. One in four respondents have four or more active social network accounts and more than one quarter access their Facebook or Twitter accounts at least once a day via their mobile phone,” said Scott Haiges, President of ROI Research. “We knew that these sites are extremely popular for socializing, but the level of interest for branding and promotional marketing content is surprisingly large.”