8thBridge shows how well online retailers reach consumers via social media.
Zak Stambor , Managing Editor
GameStop Corp., a multichannel retailer of computer games and hardware, stands out among major retailers in using social media to win business, according to a new report from social commerce technology company 8thBridge Inc. Close behind GameStop are Victoria’s Secret and Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
The report, “Social Commerce IQ: Retail” used a metric dubbed Social Commerce IQ to gauge retailers’ effectiveness. 8thBridge says it calculated the rankings using three broad factors:
• Reach, such as how many fans a brand has and how often the brand posts status updates.
• Engagement, such as whether posts spark conversations with shoppers and the percentage of web site traffic that comes directly from Facebook.
• Shopping, such as how often the brand posts coupon, sale or product posts, whether it has a Facebook storefront and whether it has a Facebook integration on its web site.
Elements that separated the top retailers from the competition were retailers’ investment in attracting more online fans, sparking consumer comments on their status updates, sharing social shopping status updates, offering fans stores on Facebook and using social media to talk about products instead of coupons.
Those traits are evident on GameStop’s Facebook page. For instance, a simple post from today —“What was your go-to game this past summer?”—generated 406 Likes and 1,968 comments in little more than an hour. The strong response was because the question was particularly relevant to fans of GameStop, says Wade Gerten, founder and CEO of 8thBridge. "They are engaging with consumers in the right way, asking questions that are relevant and that deal with products," he says. "If you're connecting with a brand you don’t want to be asked if you had good day. You want to hear and talk about products. You’re not a friend, you’re a fan of the brand." GameStop is not an 8thBridge client.
The report, which also included a survey of 1,202 U.S consumers, found that 25% of consumers have shared a product on Facebook, 19% have asked for product recommendations and 16% made a purchase based on a friend’s recommendation on the social network.
The report also found that Likes on product pages matter, which explains why 82% of retailers examined in the report have integrated Facebook’s Like button or other Facebook-related features on to their sites. 35% of consumers said that more Likes on a product page increase the likelihood that she will purchase that product.
The report examined the top 10 to 15 companies in each of the 15 merchandising categories in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, such as apparel and accessories, computers/electronics, sporting goods and others. Here are the top 10 retailers overall in the index, followed by the scores on a 0-100 scale, and their rankings in the Top 500 Guide:
• GameStop, 92, No. 113
• Victoria’s Secret, 89, No. 18
• Wal-Mart, 84, No. 6
• Sephora USA, 79, No. 116
• Clinique (Esteee Lauder Cos. Inc.), 78, No. 149
• Eastbay (Foot Locker Inc.), 77, No. 53
• Fragrancenet.com Inc.,, 76, No. 147
• Hallmark Cards Inc., 76, No. 166
• American Eagle Outfitters Inc., 75, No. 57
• Zale Corp., 74, No. 194