Social Network Sites an Attractive Venue for Retail Advertising

October 16, 2007

This article is included in these additional categories:

Media & Entertainment | Retail & E-Commerce | Youth & Gen X

Heavy users (top 20%) of social-networking sites are significantly more likely than average to visit leisure-oriented retail site categories, such as apparel, music, jewelry/luxury goods/accessories and consumer electronics, according to a comScore Segment Metrix study.

More than 95% of heavy social networkers visited retail sites in August, compared with 80% of the total US internet audience, and they had a particularly high tendency to visit the more leisure-oriented retail categories, according to the study.

Retail Categories

Those retail categories consisted of those featuring entertainment (music, tickets, books and movies), fashion (apparel, jewelry/luxury goods/accessories), and retail technology (consumer electronics, computer software and hardware).

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“This analysis is consistent with the findings of a comScore study conducted last year, which showed that visitors to social networking sites are more receptive to online advertising for leisure-oriented retail categories,” said comScore Chairman Gian Fulgoni.

“There appears to be a natural synergy between the leisure categories and social-networking sites. People typically enjoy sharing their experiences with these products, whether it’s to talk about their new iPhone or the pair of designer jeans they just bought. Social-networking sites offer the venue for those conversations to occur.”

Young-Adult Fashion and Apparel Sites

The study also examined which individual sites attracted the highest percentage of visitors from the heavy social networkers – finding they have a strong propensity to visit retail apparel sites.

Each of the top 10 sites was a fashion and apparel site oriented to young adults, including well-known brands like Hollister, Pac Sun, and Abercrombie & Fitch.

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“Apparel retailers – especially those geared towards younger consumers – can benefit by considering the use of social networking sites as a marketing channel,” said Fulgoni. “Savvy retailers understand that e-commerce represents only one component of the incremental sales that result from online advertising efforts, and that the internet is a powerful medium for brand-building and driving in-store sales.”

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