Study finds retailers increase following and revenue after introduction of Fcommerce

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Retailers continue to attract tens of thousands of new followers every month across social media sites as the popularity of Twitter and Facebook continues to grow with the introduction of Fcommerce.

The latest social media benchmark results from eDigitalResearch found that Facebook remains the most popular site for retailers to connect with online consumers, with Amazon attracting the largest number of new followers since the beginning of the year. Fcommerce pioneer ASOS have added over a third of their total current following in the past three months alone after opening the world’s first Facebook store back in January 2011.

Assessing 73 of the UK’s leading retail brands, eDigitalResearch found that nine out of the top twenty retailers are already offering consumers the opportunity to shop from their social media accounts, and is now a pivotal feature in running a successful social media campaign. Retailers, including JD Sports, are importing website payment systems directly into Facebook, whilst others, including Harrods, are linking directly back through to product pages on their website.

Derek Eccelston, research director at eDigitalResearch, explains, “Retailers are beginning to understand that consumers who interact and follow them on social media sites are more likely to be engaged with the brand, and therefore are more likely to make a purchase. By offering consumers the opportunity to shop from within their own online social space, retailers are now able to increase revenue streams and build stronger relationships with their customers."

Fashion retailers continue to dominate the Facebook and Twitter league tables, with Topshop the only retailer in the study with over a million followers on Facebook. Results also indicate that retailers who established social media accounts from the outset continue to top league tables and attract new followers.

Encouragingly, the third Social Media Benchmark continues to highlight several retailers who are establishing Facebook and Twitter accounts having had little social media presence in previous waves. The Carphone Warehouse has jumped an impressive 11 places up the table, adding 65% of its total following in the past three months alone. The revamped Facebook page mirrors the brands website and includes innovative and bespoke features, such as customer service advice videos, providing best practice for other high street retailers to follow suit.

Understanding the importance of connecting with users on Facebook and Twitter, eDigitalResearch recently developed new survey features designed to help brands increase their social media presence, encouraging respondents who rate products and services highly to recommend brands to their online friends and ‘like’ the company across various social media platforms.

Derek continues, “The biggest challenge for retailers going forward will be finding content that fits across both traditional Facebook and Twitter sites and their mobile application counterparts. As we continue to witness the dawn of MEcommerce where the consumer now has the power to interact with brands when, where and how they want, it is essential that retailers co-ordinate channels, making them coherent to customers.”

Worryingly, there are still a handful of major retailers, who as of yet have little or no social media presence. It is vital that these retailers begin to establish themselves on sites to help foster consumer relationships, gain customer insight to develop brands and improve upon current market positions.

To download the latest social media benchmark, complete this short survey: https://ecustomeropinions.com/survey/survey.php?sid=937798130. Alternatively, for access to our previous benchmark reports, sign up or log in to the benchmark area of the eDigitalResearch website; http://www.edigitalresearch.com/benchmarking

For further information, contact Lisa Boncyzk +44 (0)1489 772 920 or email lisa.boncyzk@edigitalresearch.com

Methodology
The retail social media study was undertaken by eDigitalReserarch during the week commencing 4th April 2011, and took into account company verified social media accounts and pages. The research assessed the top 73 UK retail sites, including fashion, electrical and grocery websites. The study looked predominately at Twitter followers, YouTube channels and views, and members of Facebook pages and groups.

About eDigitalResearch
eDigitalResearch is a leading provider of digital market research, enabling customers to make critical business decisions with the benefit of comprehensive consumer insight and informed direction. eDigitalResearch possesses a unique combination of research expertise, marketing background, web technology and knowledge of the cross-channel consumer. As well as providing invaluable research data, the modules of its fully integrated research system - ratings, surveys, panels, communities and forums - can combine to provide holistic analytics and essential market-leading insight. This gives its clients the power, confidence and backup to make crucial decisions on key aspects of their business including product range, marketing, customer service, supply chain, even basic positioning. For further information, please visit: http://www.edigitalresearch.com

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Lisa Bonczyk
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