Study: social media doesn’t work for retail

A new study shows retailers may be incorrect about social media.  ForeSee Results reports that social media drove just 5% of visitors to retail Web sites.  By comparison, “promotional emails, search engine results, and even advertising are more influential,” it says.  In fact, the study found that more traditional marketing techniques not only generated more traffic, they also deliver better-quality customers. “Some of the most satisfied site visitors arrived at the site because of previous familiarity with a brand, promotional emails, word-of-mouth, and product review websites,” it says in its report.

Survey respondents were asked what factors were the primary influence to a store’s Web site, and 38% say it was familiarity with the brand, while 19% say it was due to promotional emails. Search engine results, word of mouth, and ads (newspaper, TV, radio or magazine) were each named by 8%. Just 5% said social media was the primary influence. Some 3% cited blogs, while 2% named both shopping comparison Web sites, and product review Web sites.  ForeSee, based in Ann Arbor, Mich., also asked participants to name their preferred method of communication with a retailer, and overall, only 8% named social media. Mobile is even less popular, with only 5% saying they prefer to communicate that way. Emails, with 64%, were by far the most popular, followed by snail mail, 25%; Web sites, 21%; and TV, 11%.

The study uses the same methodology of the American Customer Satisfaction Index and is based on a sample of 10,000 adults.

Source: The Nielsen Company

ADG&A has long contended that social media is not a major factor for ophthalmolgoy patients when determining where to obtain an eye examination or purchase eyeglasses.  We continue to advise our clients to focus on improving their web sites, engaging in e-mail newsletters and blasts and improving the overall patient experience. 

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About Arthur De Gennaro

My friends call me Art. Welcome to my blog. In this space you’ll find information and comments on the ophthalmology world, the optical industry, the hearing industry and medical practice management. My intent is to provide information you can use to improve your business and your own performance. Please visit often and feel free to join the discussions by leaving comments.

You can learn more about me and my consulting company, Arthur De Gennaro & Associates, LLC by visiting my web site www.adegennaro.com

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February 2011

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