According to Ryan Partnership’s September report, retailers’ social media activities influence buyer willingness to try new products and make impulse buys. The report states that 36% of US respondents who follow retailers through social media reported that the retailer updates encouraged them to try new products they haven’t previously purchased. Likewise, 32% of respondents following brands through social media reported being motivated to try new products.

The report suggests that retailers’ texts influence 20% of shoppers to buy something they didn’t plan to buy and 14% of shoppers to spent more money. Other social media influencers include: social media updates on brands, daily deal sites, QR codes, and barcode readers. The least influential social media tools in driving increased spending and unplanned purchases are search engines, downloadable coupons, and brand sites.  Other tools that influence purchases are: shopping applications (32%), reviews and recommendations (29%), pre-shop brand sites (29%), daily deal sites and brand emails (26%), and in-store brand sites (25%).

The use of digital tools continues to grow rapidly. Since 2010, 36% more shoppers reported going to retailer sites when shopping or planning to shop. The second highest increase (33%) was downloadable coupons. Other digital tools that have increased since 2010 are retailer emails (+28%), reviews and recommendations (24%), and mobile coupons (+13%). Consequently, retailers should focus their efforts on connecting with their target markets via a mix of social media tools.

About The Data: Ryan Partnership surveyed 8,000 primary household (HH) shoppers using an online survey in the spring of 2012. The study includes a representative sample of US primary HH shoppers, and covers all types of retailers and product categories.

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