Facebook Plays Key Role For Retail

Facebook Plays Key Role for Retail Shoppers in the UK

Online insights agency Research Now has released a number of early insights from a new report commissioned by Facebook that analyzes the role of mobile technology – and Facebook specifically – in the retail purchase path. The report, called Multi-Channel Shopping and presented at a retail event hosted by Facebook on Tuesday in the UK, is a fascinating glimpse into the prevalence of digital media in the purchase decision process, and the ability of Facebook to influence shopping behavior.

[Mobile influences shopping behavior before, during and after a visit to the store image]

The report contains three key findings:

  • Consumers use their mobile when shopping to help them make purchase decisions
  • The shopper research window is short, with most research done on the day of purchase
  • Shoppers are utilizing digital media platforms before and during shopping

Mobile has a key role to play at all points of the purchase cycle, from pre-shopping research to in-store comparisons to post-purchase sharing. With 68% of shoppers using their phone while in a store, and 39% of those shoppers accessing a social network, there’s a clear opportunity for marketers to connect with the people that matter to them at the point where they’re making purchasing decisions.



Shoppers are seeking inspiration, advice and validation. Retailers should focus on providing the right information and competing with pure-play sellers on pricing: 72% of retailer visits during the claimed shopping window were to eBay and Amazon.



Consumers Use Facebook While Shopping

Facebook useage dominates digital media during the retail purchase process, with 71% share of visits to digital sites within four hours of the claimed shopping window, and 96% share of social media visits during the overall shopping window – almost 9x that of Twitter.

The top 5 reasons for checking Facebook in-store are:

  • 60% – checking News Feed
  • 28% – received a notification
  • 27% – to send a message
  • 27% – waiting in the checkout queue
  • 24% – viewing friends’ pictures

Fifty-seven percent of people checking Facebook are women, and 43% are 25-34 years-old. Inspiration, information, gift ideas and price comparison are all major drivers of Facebook usage.



Conclusions for Marketers

There are three key strategic take-aways from this report:

  • Mobile must be a key channel of any retailer communication strategy, but digital experiences must be consistent across channels
  • Most research is done on the day of purchase so retailers should provide relevant information through high-traffic mobile channels
  • Use digital platforms to meet consumer desire for inspiration and reassurance

Facebook plays key role for retail shoppers (in German).