Retailers failing to implement adequate social commerce solutions

Jul 18, 2011

Top retailers are failing to capitalise on a rapidly growing e-commerce market with many still having inadequate social commerce solutions, new research has revealed.

The study, which looked at the online sales channels of the UK’s top 100 retailers, has revealed serious shortcomings in many brands’ e-commerce strategies.

According to the research, which was carried out by, One iota, only one e-retailer – ASOS – offers a fully transactional Facebook shopping experience to its customers. This is despite 75 per cent of the top 100 retailers having Facebook pages – a ten per cent rise since the beginning of the year.

In January, One iota revealed that 80 per cent of e-retailers did not cater for mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. This number has improved significantly over the last six months. The number of retailers in the top 100 providing a mobile commerce site has risen from 20 per cent to 33 per cent. On top of this, 4 per cent of retailers now cater for mobiles through mobile apps.

However, despite the improvement, only 26 of the 100 e-retailers surveyed by One iota offer a fully transactional mobile site, which allows shoppers to buy ‘seamlessly’ from their devices.

Speaking of the findings, Damian Hanson, co-founder and CEO of One iota, commented: “Our research shows that many retailers still aren’t up to scratch in terms of their e-commerce strategy. Each Facebook fan translates into 20 extra visits to a brand’s website in one year – retailers need to wake up to the opportunity that social commerce is offering them.

“Optimised mobile internet and social commerce sites are simple to develop. By engaging with customers in an environment where they spend a growing proportion of their time – on Facebook or on their mobile phones – retailers can maximise the opportunity to sell and open up new revenue streams.”

Research into the way brands use Facebook also revealed that Topshop has been overtaken by Zara in ‘Facebook fan’ rankings. An e-commerce rollout by the Spanish retailer has seen Zara enter the top of the IMRG HOT 100 list with over nine million Facebook fans. However, the company is yet to capitalise on its ranking with a transactional Facebook page.

Hanson added: “It’s clear that retailers need to innovate in order to compete within the marketplace, but progress appears to be slow. E-commerce, and in particular social and mobile commerce, is a necessity for brands and retailers, particularly in the current economic climate.”

One iota delivers fully integrated mobile and social commerce solutions for brands and retailers.

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