The State of Social Media
28 Percent of Holiday Shoppers Say Social Media has Influenced Holiday Purchases
RESTON, VA, December 8, 2009 – Comscore (NASDAQ : SCOR), a leader in measuring the digital world, today reported holiday season retail e-commerce spending for the first 36 days of the November – December 2009 holiday season. For the holiday season-to-date, nearly $16 billion has been spent online, marking a 3-percent increase versus the corresponding days last year. The most recent week ending December 6 reached $4.6 billion in holiday spending, heavier than any individual spending week in 2008 but still below two individual weeks in 2007. The week began with strong weekday spending, led by $887 million on Cyber Monday, but ended on a softer note with negative year-over-year growth rates during the weekend.
*Corresponding days based on corresponding shopping days (November 2 thru December 7, 2008)
“After a strong beginning to the week, we saw growth rates decelerate over the weekend to put this past week of holiday shopping in line with our 3 percent growth forecast for the season,” said Comscore chairman Gian Fulgoni. “We are anticipating heavy spending for the current week, making it an important determinant for how the holiday season as a whole will perform. Hopefully, we’ll see a return to the growth rates we observed during the earlier part of this past week and that the weekend softness was just a temporary hiccup.”
Social Media Influencing Holiday Purchases
In the Comscore weekly holiday survey, Comscore asked respondents about the influence of social media on their holiday shopping behavior. According to the most recent survey, conducted on Dec. 4-7, 2009, 28 percent of those who have begun their holiday shopping this season indicated that social media has influenced their purchases. Of the types of specific social media cited, reading a consumer-generated product review was the most common form of social media that had influenced holiday purchases (13 percent of respondents), followed by an expert product review (11 percent). Seven percent of respondents indicated they have followed a fan page on Facebook to take advantage of special offers and deals, while 6 percent said they have been influenced by a friend’s Facebook status update referring to a particular product. Five percent of respondents indicated they had followed a company on Twitter to take advantage of special offers and deals, while 3 percent said that a friend’s “tweet” about a product influenced their purchase behavior.
“Social media really appears to be emerging as an important marketing channel this holiday season,” added Mr. Fulgoni. “On the one hand, its emergence is being driven by increased consumer adoption of these technologies and the exponential growth in digital word-of-mouth that is occurring over this medium. On the other hand, having a social media marketing strategy makes sense for retailers in this environment because it’s cost-effective and shows an effort to get closer to one’s customers. I think we are getting our first real glimpse at the impact social media will play on commerce as we enter the next decade.”
Weekly Online Holiday Retail Sales
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