JWT Explores Rise of Social Commerce

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Report examines potential for brands as shopping meshes with social

There’s tremendous potential here for brands to create more personal, accessible experiences and to amplify word of mouth, especially when it comes to targeting Millennials

In its July trend report, JWT, the world’s best-known marketing communications brand, explores how retailers and other brands are using Social Commerce to engage consumers both on- and offline.

The report examines three key trends—the rise of Facebook commerce (retailers selling directly on the social network), overlaying the social graph on e-commerce sites and introducing that social graph to the brick-and-mortar world—looking at what innovative retailers and others are doing in these areas, as well as what’s driving each trend and the significance and potential for marketers. It also spotlights things to watch in this space, from apps that enable sharing while shopping to Facebook Credits.

“There’s a great deal of hype in this early stage of Social Commerce, as brands experiment with ways to mesh the social graph with shopping,” says Ann Mack, director of trendspotting at JWT. “What’s clear is that there’s tremendous potential here for brands to create more personal, accessible experiences and to amplify word of mouth, especially when it comes to targeting Millennials.”

JWT’s trend reports are the result of quantitative, qualitative and desk research conducted by JWTIntelligence throughout the year. Specifically for this report, JWTIntelligence interviewed experts and influencers in research, technology and business, and conducted a quantitative study in the U.S. and the U.K. The survey used SONAR™, JWT’s proprietary online research tool, to poll 971 adults aged 20-plus from May 20–June 1, 2011.

Findings from the survey include:

  •     The Millennial Generation is most interested in F-Commerce: More than four in 10 Millennials (aged 20-33) in the U.S. and the U.K. said they wish there were more opportunities to shop within Facebook, versus 26% of Gen Xers (aged 34-46) and 16% of Boomers (47-66). Nearly half agreed that they spend so much time on Facebook already, they might as well shop there too, compared to a quarter of Gen Xers and 14% of Boomers. Similarly, 48% said they wish the places where they shop had a page where customers could buy products/services directly on Facebook (27% of Gen Xers and 19% of Boomers said the same).
  •     Privacy concerns are a big hurdle for F-Commerce: Nearly eight in 10 of American and British adults said they worry about the privacy implications of shopping directly on Facebook. Three-quarters said they “don’t think Facebook is secure enough to make purchases on,” and nearly that many said they “wouldn’t use a shopping application on Facebook because of concerns that it could compromise my privacy—e.g., shared with third parties.” Interestingly, while the Millennials have an appetite for F-commerce, they’re the ones most concerned about privacy.
  •     Overlaying the social graph helps people make decisions more quickly: When asked about websites that offer personalized recommendations based on one’s Facebook profile, 46% of American and British adults felt that “there is too much information out there, so I think this is helpful”; Millennials were most likely to say this (59%), followed by Gen Xers (49%) and Boomers (31%). More than one-third said personalization of this nature helps them make decisions more quickly; again, Millennials (51%) were more likely to say this than Gen Xers (36%) or Boomers (21%).

“Social Commerce” is available on JWTIntelligence.com. Additional knowledge and research on JWTIntelligence.com includes the recent trend reports “Transmedia Rising”, Rebooting Travel and “Fear Of Missing Out”, 10 Trends for 2011 and 100 Things to Watch in 2011.

About JWT

JWT is the world’s best-known marketing communications brand. Headquartered in New York, JWT is a true global network with more than 200 offices in over 90 countries employing nearly 10,000 marketing professionals.

JWT consistently ranks among the top agency networks in the world and continues its dominant presence in the industry by staying on the leading edge—from producing the first-ever TV commercial in 1939 to developing award-winning branded content for brands such as Freixenet, Ford and HSBC.

JWT’s pioneering spirit enables the agency to forge deep relationships with clients including Bayer, Bloomberg, Cadbury, Diageo, DTC, Ford, HSBC, Johnson & Johnson, Kellogg’s, Kimberly-Clark, Kraft, Nestlé, Nokia, Rolex, Royal Caribbean, Schick, Shell, Unilever, Vodafone and many others. JWT’s parent company is WPP (NASDAQ: WPPGY).


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