Impact of Social Media on Retail – Mashable Report

I recently read a report by Christine Erickson on Mashable highlighting how and why retailers have started to take advantage of Social Media to grow their market and compete online.   With the various Social Media sources out there the potential for growth in this area is tremendous over the coming years, providing a great opportunity for retailers to grow their footprint globally at a low-cost to entry into markets where previously setting up a retail presence would have been a no go.

The success of this would be dependent upon many factors – flexibility of the Social Media service, choosing the right service as a sales channel, how to display and enable search of content are just a few that come to mind.

This move of retailers or other business using Social Media sources could also potentially cause competition between the Social Media sites fighting and bidding for the brands !!!! – wouldn’t that be great.

What would be interesting to know, from the data below, is the geographical split of followers across each of the services, or what percentage of followers are true purchasers.  This would provide an interesting dimension as to how successful the retailers strategy has been since going social.

Questions should also be asked of the intent of the followers – are they followers because they are true purchasers or they just there to follow the retailer because they have an emotional attachment to the brand or is the retail brand actually a representation of the individuals brand.

What is also interesting is the distribution of retailers across the various Social Media services below.   Are we looking at a another form of demographic measurement ?  There been a number of articles regarding consumers who are dedicated on-line shoppers.  A Socially Conscious Consumer is described best by the Nielsen Wire.

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