September 20, 2011, 12:22 PM

Twitter influences consumers’ purchases

35% of shoppers say that Twitter feeds help guide their purchasing decisions.

Lead Photo

Twitter may be more influential than Facebook in helping drive consumers’ shopping decisions, according to Kantar Media Compete’s quarterly Online Shopper Intelligence Study.

The study, based on a survey of 2,574 online shoppers between July 14 and August 8, found that 35% of consumers said Twitter was influential or extremely influential in their decision to buy a product. That compares with 24% who said Facebook helped guide a purchase.

However, the dominant way to reach consumers remains e-mail, the report says. Nearly one in three consumers receives more than 20 e-mails from retailers in a week. And 89% percent of all respondents at least occasionally click through from an e-mail to a retail web site or they visit a retail site soon after reading the message.

While social media and e-mail marketing are relatively well-established, short messaging service (SMS) texts offer retailers an untapped channel for brands to reach shoppers, says the report. That’s because during a typical week 72% of shoppers don’t receive a single text message from retailers.

SMS texts can be valuable because promotional offers are driving purchases. One in five respondents said they used a coupon code for their last purchase—and 60% of those shoppers said they wouldn’t have bought that item had they not obtained the code.

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