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Social Media and Shopping Behavior

Retailers join consumers in the online conversation.

Consumers' use of social media is altering the way they make purchase decisions. To stay
relevant, retailers must determine how to incorporate social media, such as social networks and blogs, into their marketing strategies.

Generation Y (those born after 1979) online buyers are more immersed in online and mobile activities than any other generation, according to 2008 research from shopping comparison site PriceGrabber. Some 85% of Gen Y respondents said they participated in social networking, and 57% reported involvement with blogs.

To reach this demographic segment, Web retailers are marketing to them on their own turf. Data from an August 2008 survey of Web merchants sponsored by Internet Retailer found that, of the 39.3% of retail respondents that use social networks, 32% have a page on Facebook, 27% on MySpace and 26% on YouTube.

One way that consumers use social media is to share their customer care experiences with companies and brands. A 2008 study conducted by the Society for New Communications Research for Nuance Communications found nearly three-quarters of respondents choose retailers and products based on others' customer care experiences shared online.

Read more - eMarketer

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