According to a recently released consumer research study by Sociable Labs, social sharing is as helpful as Google search when it comes to shopping. The study is based on a survey of 1088 online shoppers who use Facebook, about the influence and impact of social sharing (sharing comments about products with friends) on consumer purchase. The survey, conducted between January 15 and February 8, 2012, looked into the minds of online shoppers to reveal how they view social sharing and how it fits into their shopping and purchase decision making process. Although it is not surprising to find out that social sharing helps sales, this survey of 1088 people helps us visualize and interpret consumer behavior through the data.
Some note-worthy findings of the study:
- Social sharing is a mainstream activity today, with 62% of all online shoppers having read product-related comments from friends on Facebook, and 75% of these shoppers having clicked through to visit the retailer’s site.
- 56% of online shoppers have clicked on Like buttons related to products
- 62% of online shoppers have read product comments shared by their friends on Facebook.
- The 'Share-to-Purchase funnel' has caused 25% of all online shoppers to purchase a product from social sharing
The study also concludes that consumers find social sharing equivalent to Google search in helpfulness when looking for a product to buy. That observation is based on the respondent's answer to the question "Please rate how helpful the following information sources would be when you’re looking for a product to buy?"
The study also points out that social proofing on retailer sites (via friend opinions) significantly increases shopper confidence, with 57% of shoppers becoming more likely to buy. Once consumers are exposed to positive social sharing experiences, it creates a virtuous cycle of social sharing and purchase.
Sociable Labs also released an infographic putting some of the numbers in perspective: