Insights on social shopping and research process trends

According to a latest Social Shopping Study, many people now have integrated the various social media channels in all stages of the digital shopping process. The survey concludes that women are less likely than men to perform five of six designated social shopping activities.

A performance marketing agency, Performics, has unveiled its findings of the survey that contradicted and even fortified some of the commonly believed concepts regarding gender and social behaviors. The study done by the research firm owned by Publicis Groupe indicates that men tend to research product information more frequently, apart from reading reviews, comparing products, finding product availability and drawing store information with help of social networks, shopping & deal sites.

On the other hand, women trump men when it comes to looking for deals, coupons and incentives on such sites. Male shoppers frequent the popular social platforms substantially more than female shopper; YouTube (54 versus 34 percent), Twitter (37 versus 24 percent), Google+ (36 versus 24 percent), Myspace (31 versus 20 percent), LinkedIn (20 versus 16 percent), Facebook (96 versus 97 percent)

Explaining the trend, the SVP (marketing & business development) for Performics, Dana Todd has been quoted as saying:

“Women are reported to control about 80 percent of household spending, so it may be surprising for some to see men play a more dominant role in the social shopping and research process. But given recent reports of ‘digital dads’ and increases in shared shopping activities across genders, this new data is intriguing.

“We’ve layered social network behavior with shopping patterns and the results are helpful for marketers trying to predict how social shopping figures into upcoming holiday campaigns. Many may not have considered specifically targeting men in social ads.”

Aside from revealing key gender differences, the study conducted in conjunction with ROI Research also brings to fore the fact that most active social networkers often turn to shopping websites like eBay, Amazon or brand websites to initiate the purchase process while looking for a product (87 percent) as well as right before committing to an actual purchase (83 percent). In fact, they are more likely to resort to social networks like Facebook and Twitter immediately after purchasing in order to share their shopping experience (59 percent).

As is evident, many users have seamlessly integrated social media in every phase of the oeverall shopping process, more so because this is how they mostly connect with friends on laptops and mobile devices. According to Todd, We all now ask friends, family members or office colleagues to weigh in on a particular purchase, or gleefully posting a great find.

However, it’s not all about frenzied social activity; shopping & deal sites are holding their own and offer a good opportunity for marketers to engage with customers. Broadly speaking, many social networkers frequently or occasionally carry out in-store search and social activities; Shopping websites score over social & deal sites before the actual purchase.