What's the Meaning of "Like"?

An eye-popping 167 million people will shop online in 2012. How can you capture some of that market?
Business Writers
October 03, 2012 What’s the meaning of “like”? Software solutions company Symphony Teleca attempted to unpack it—and the connection between social media, smartphones and shopping—in an infographic.

An eye-popping 167 million people will shop online in 2012, forking over an average of $1,800 per person. How can you capture some of that market? 

Smartphone as a Shopping Tool

Sixty-four percent of smartphone owners will shop online using their device. Not surprisingly, savvy shoppers are using their phones to hunt for sales and special deals and to find intel on products. A third use their phone to look for sales and specials and to check store info. Just over a quarter (26 percent) use their phones to make sure retailers have a product in stock. (Do you have a mobile site? Click here for the secrets of mobile marketing.) 

The Influence of Social Media

More than half (51 percent) of online customers said they considered social sites to be credible sources of product information. By the year 2014, it’s estimated that the Internet will influence 53 percent of all sales, both online and offline. Moreover, the overwhelming majority of shoppers (85 percent) think their buying behavior will change in response to the growing amount of user-generated content. 

For the top 20 brands in the world, links to user generated content (Facebook, Twitter, reviews, etc) make up a quarter of all search results. (Click here for the secret to a perfect Facebook post.) 

Facebook users are “extremely active shoppers” and 60 percent said they would discuss a product or service if offered a discount or deal of some kind. (Do Facebook “likes” translate into actual sales? Click here to read more.)

On Pinterest, 51 percent said they followed their favorite brands specifically for coupons. That’s way more than the number who followed for product info (43 percent), to read or comment about goods and services (36 percent), and to seek out information about events (34 percent). (Should your business be on Pinterest? Click here to decide.)

The Potential of Location-Based Services

If you haven’t investigated using location-based services to offer deals, the data suggests it may be a promising source of customers. Around a third of smartphone users said they had shared their location with a retail company, while nearly two-thirds (62 percent) of the 6 billion mobile phone users said they hoped to use location-based services one day.

Photo: Thinkstock