Social Media Fails Retail
Also, me fail English...that's unpossible! But seriously, it seems like people are riding the elusive great white buffalo when it comes to the social media train. I've heard it referred to as a tsunami, a godsend, a blessing, and the future. But where are all these businesses that have capitlized so diligently using social media?
A recent study by Forrester Research and GSI Commerce analyzed data captured from online retailers between November 12 and December 20, 2010. The research shows that social media rarely leads directly to purchases online — data indicates that less than 2% of orders were the result of shoppers coming from a social network. The report found email and search advertising were much more effective vehicles for turning browsers into buyers.
Baffling, I know. I've sat through countless seminars and webinars listening to self proclaimed experts and 'gurus' preaching on the importance of social media. I always stop and wonder, "how much is this dude getting paid to tell people to use these products."
It's almost a case of the emperor's new clothes. Every keeps preaching it, but the numbers don't lie. Less than 2% of retail sales traffic driven through social media. How much did they spend to promote it.
In the meanwhile, email marketing and direct marketing are still plowing the way for increased sales. Fiona Dias, executive vice president of strategy and marketing for GSI Commerce says, "It's been a mystery to me why the media is excited about social media. From a retail and commerce perspective, it seems to have no effect."
Color me baffled.