A recent study, commissioned by eBay’s UK office, predicts that in 2014 the site’s sales coming directly from social media will climb to £290M, roughly $460.6M. That’s a boost of more than £90M ($143M).
While an increase in traffic and sales stemming from popular social media sites should come as no surprise, one must look deeper at Facebook and Twitter to see what’s the draw for prospective buyers.
Reviews and recommendations are ever-present on the Internet, from the questionable credibility of an anonymous user on Yahoo! Answers to a verified purchaser on Amazon, but there’s something about a quick 140-character review on Twitter or quick Facebook Like that holds special value.
A review on Twitter or Facebook or a ringing endorsement via Pinterest, gives users a human side to the usually faceless web review.
Aside from connecting to other customers, social media gives prospective buyers the opportunity to engage in two-way conversation with the brand or company – interaction not often present in traditional advertisement. Here again, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc. add a more personal side to the shopping experience.
Beyond social media boosting customer connections and interactions, recent years have seen daily deals (Groupon, Living Social) and promotions (via Facebook) add an entirely new element to online retail.