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How to Make Social Commerce More Appealing

Just 5% of US adult internet users have made a purchase via social

September 26, 2014 | Retail & Ecommerce | Social Media

Social commerce isn’t new, and Twitter’s recent announcement of an in-tweet “buy” button is yet another effort to fuel customer purchases via social. But how many digital buyers in the US actually take the final leap on a social platform? Not too many, according to August 2014 polling by Harris Poll for DigitasLBi, which found that just 5% of US adult internet users had made a purchase on a social network such as Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.

Factors that Would Increase the Likelihood of Making a Purchase via Social Network According to US Social Network Users, by Age, Aug 2014 (% of respondents in each group)

Based on the research, better security measures could motivate social networkers to buy through a social platform. Fully 42% of users said they would be more likely to make a purchase via social if they knew their credit information was secure, while 38% said knowing their purchase wouldn’t be shared would increase their likelihood of completing such a transaction.

One-third of respondents would be more apt to make a purchase if the total was under $25, and further responses indicated that cost definitely had an influence in whether or not users clicked the social buy button. The majority said that price played a big role in their decision to buy something on a social site, and 35% would even use a social hashtag if it meant getting a discount.

Attitudes Toward Social Commerce Among US Social Network Users, by Age, Aug 2014 (% of respondents in each group)

And despite many showing a desire for security around social purchases, about one-quarter of respondents said they wouldn’t hold back from buying via social even if that meant a brand would know their purchase history.

eMarketer expects the number of US social network users to rise by 4.5% this year and hit 173.2 million people. This represents 68.5% of internet users and 54.3% of the population—as well as a big audience for retailers trying to up social commerce.

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