Email beats Social Media for Customer Attention – is it true?

In a recent article from Search Engine Watch- Email beats Social Media for customer attention – a new report from Econsultancy has shown that sending targeted and relevant emails leads to greater e-commerce success than using social media sites.

This really shows that the influence of the social networks is still growing and is in it’s infancy.  It will be the early adopters within the market that will be driving the change in online shopping behaviour.

Two other statistics worth mentioning are:

  • 55% of all respondents reported that a high product rating makes them more likely to buy, and the inverse is also true. Similarly, 56% report the presence of consumer-generated reviews increases their likelihood of using a particular online store.
  • The age range that’s most reliant on e-commerce is 25 to 38 years old. These people are comfortable with the Internet, strapped for time, and prize convenience and price. With a greater likelihood of having small children at home, they are less inclined to go to stores and somewhat better able to accept deliveries during the work week.

Online Credibility & Reputation Management
Online credibility and reputation management are key in converting visitors to customers.  More people are becoming more savvy about researching online retailers, so they are making an informed purchase. Managing the sentiment of your reviews online and listening to the feedback (and acting appropriately on this) is the key to gaining trust amongst your customers.

Is it a sweeping statement?
There are going to be leading industries where social media is performing well.  Take Dell for instance who have generated $3m sales using Twitter. Technology and digital sectors naturally will be leading the way in the evolution of customer purchasing behaviour, mainly because a lot of their customers will be early adopters of social media.

Rate of Adoption of Social Media
Think back to when Google was launched – it seemed inconceivable that customers would find products and services using a search engine.  Roll forward 12 years and search engine optimisation is a fundamental part of any ecommerce site online marketing mix.

Same goes for social media, however the rate of adoption will be quicker and accelerated than for search engines.  Mainly because the rate of change of mobile and online technologies means that the barriers to using these are far lower.

Competitive Advantage for using Social Media
Coming out of the recession, companies which have a competitive edge will survive, it’s digital Darwinism at it’s best. Those companies that are engaging with their customers online, genuinely listening, managing their online reputation and taking onboard feedback, will have created a unique selling point.  Something different that’s appealing to customers and a different reason for choosing one brand over another.

Are you an early adopter of social media technologies – and does this research ring true for you?

One thought on “Email beats Social Media for Customer Attention – is it true?

  1. Hi Charlotte:

    Excellent, thoughtful article.

    I'm not surprised that email outstrips social media though it's nice to have some confirmation. If nothing else email is far easier to measure. Recent reports of the death of email marketing are, in my view, premature. Well designed and targeted email campaigns bring in great results – especially as part of a wider social media strategy.

    Not always easy for companies to get the 'social' part right and customers don't always want to socialise, even with their favourite brands. It will be a while until companies can touch a significant proportion of their customer base through social channels alone.

    Keep having to remind myself – I do this stuff all-day-everyday but that doesn't mean everyone else is too!

    Bright Digital

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