November 12, 2009, 12:00 AM

Consumers embrace social shopping, new Deloitte survey reports

17% of shoppers plan to use social media—Facebook, MySpace and other such online gathering and communication places—when they shop for gifts, reports Deloitte’s 24th Annual Holiday Survey. 22% of all consumers will do their primary shopping online.

 

Retailers have been focusing lately on how they can harness online social media to generate sales, and the latest consumer poll from consulting firm Deloitte says they are right to have social media prominent on their radar screens.

Deloitte’s 24th Annual Holiday Survey of 10,878 consumers reports that 22% of all consumers will do their primary shopping online this year.

It also reports that consumers are adopting social media relatively fast, with 17% of all shoppers planning to use social media-Facebook, MySpace and other such online gathering and communication places-when they shop for gifts. And even though the users are skewed younger, they represent all ages up to 60: 52% of those who will use social sites are age 18-29; 33% are 30-44; and 12% are 45-60.

60% will use social media sites to find discounts, 53% to research gift ideas, and 52% to check wish lists.

A similar number-19%-plan to use their mobile devices for shopping this year, Deloitte reports. 25% of those users expect to make a holiday purchase with their phones.

In addition:

  • 55% will use their devices to find store locations
  • 45% to research prices
  • 40% to find product information
  • 32% to get discounts and coupons
  • 31% to read reviews.

The survey also reports that 39% of consumers say they often read consumer-generated reviews of stores or products online and 25% say they will likely purchase a product this holiday season based on an online recommendation. 34% say online consumer reviews and ratings influence their buying decisions more than advertising.

 

"Consumers are turning to mobile, online and social media during their entire holiday shopping experience," says Stacy Janiak, vice chairman and Deloitte`s U.S. Retail leader. "Retailers should consider harnessing this activity to turn browsers into buyers with one-click access to coupons, promotions and purchasing tools. This year`s leaner in-store inventories may also open the door for retailers to lure customers to their online channels where it is easier to access inventory, no matter where it is located."

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