From USA Today... "Survey: Social-network sites could also lure shoppers"
The networking sites "provide some of the most powerful word-of-mouth-marketing opportunities there have ever been," says Nancy Costopulos, chief marketing officer at the American Marketing Association. "It's past the fad zone and into the reality zone."
The dollars available: $211.4 billion will be spent for online purchases this year, including travel, according to Shop.org, part of the National Retail Federation. More than one-third of all U.S. households shop online. The big social-networking sites now rely on ad revenue for most of their income. But they're popular with younger consumers, a huge e-tailing revenue base, who now frequent hip fashion and electronics sites or even Amazon.com to buy online.
Some 51% of respondents to the survey said they'd be willing to go to a social-networking site this holiday season to find out about store sales or download coupons. The online survey of 1,098 consumers was done earlier this month by Opinion Research.
Critical to commerce on social sites would be a "soft sell" that doesn't feel overly commercial, says David Szymanski, chairman of retail studies at Texas A&M.
Assuming that can be accomplished, there's nothing more effective than the word-of-mouth marketing that takes place on social-networking sites, he says. "It's the trust factor."
The survey was done ahead of a discussion of social networking by the nation's top marketers at an AMA forum on new media next week in Orlando called Mplanet 2006.
None of the sites mentioned in the article directly support e-comm. But hey, we support e-comm on social networking sites in ways that most retailers have never imagined!