Small E‑retailers More Nimble with Social Media

Consumers are spending more time than ever before with social media. But does that mean they’ll notice messages from their favorite e‑retailers and brands in this space? Marketers seem to think so and small and PCmedium-​sized e‑businesses (SMBs) appear to have an edge over their larger competitors based on the numbers presented by Stefany Moore in her recent analysis published in Internet Retailer.

The data in Internet Retailer’s 2014 Social Media 500 shows that online businesses are seeing higher referral rates from social sites. Over 51.5 million monthly unique visitors found their way to online commerce sites through social networks like Facebook and Pinterest.

This traffic also generated higher sales. In total, e‑commerce sites link $2.69 billion in sales from traffic that came to them through social sites. That’s a 63% increase over the previous year. It’s likely some of the traffic resulted from the increased spending on social ads. For example, in one sample of 40 retailers, the spending on these ads jumped 400% in a one-​year period.

But there’s more to the story than ad spending. Moore notes that these e‑retailers “do know how to engage with the customers.” The top producers in the Internet Retailer study are taking the time to interact with their fans in the social space and they are often SMBs. These enterprises often can’t afford to outspend behemoths like Amazon. And, they don't have to.

They need to sell unique products, identify fans and reward them in the social space, and pay attention to what’s happening online. One of the keys to successful social marketing is being nimble. Smaller firms can sometimes anticipate what might happen and change strategies before their larger competitors even figure out what’s happening.

To learn more about Social Shoppers, check out the AudienceSCAN report available on the Research Store at ad​-ology​.com.


Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.