Social networking: Does this impact retailers profitability?

Posted: February 10, 2012 in Fashion First

Social networking can be the vital key to profitability for retailers

What a wonderful world-wide web our Nation has become! You no longer have to be social and outgoing by meeting others in public places like bookstores, bars/restaurants, or even shopping malls; you can express your personality and presence by literally one click of a button. Early social networking websites started in the form of generalized online communities such as The WELL (1985), (1994), Geocities (1994) and (1995). These early communities focused on bringing people together to interact with each other through chat rooms, and share personal information and ideas around any topics via personal homepage publishing tools which were a precursor to the blogging phenomenon (Boyd & Ellison 2007, p. 3).

As we reached this new millennium, the occurrence of social networking has inspired the idea of marketing for profitability.  Facebook, the largest social networking site to date, launched in 2004, has created retailers the opportunity to market their products, events, and inclusion of banners for all to see, and for all to feed into impulse shopping. Many of us, have hit the “like” button on facebook, whether it’s for a pair of shoes, a handbag, a watch, a jacket, you name it, and if the price is right-We buy.

Click here

Stephany Moore, research analyst, provides a report from NPD which also looked into the effect of social media on shoppers’ buying patterns, and found 25% of survey respondents follow a retailer or brand on a social network. When asked if they ever shopped for a product online as a result of something they had seen on a social media site, 27% said yes. Women were significantly more likely than men to report such behavior, the survey found.

However, there is no real proof of retailers gaining more profit from a visit to its store or from down-time from facebook followers. Generally, we all find interest because we simply know the brand or the retailer. Retailers understand this marketing scheme can provide the possibility of exchange rates of purchasing power through advertising on social networking sites. This promotion can potentially provide a win-win solution for retailers and provide consumers with a three-dimensional way of shopping through social networking. Question is shop or not?

Online or In-store?

Do you have purchasing power?


Boyd, D. M., & Ellison, N. B. (2007). Social network sites: Definition, history, and scholarship. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 13(1), article 11.    

Facebook-The Complete Biography. (2006). Retrieved February 10, 2012 from

Books, clothes, and electronics are the most shopped categories online. (2012). Retrieved February 10, 2012 from

  1. Subrina says:

    Your post was very entertaining to read and not boring at all! I really enjoyed reading it. I like the way you write. Also, your photos really send the message. I like that they all show how easy it is for consumers to get anything they want and need by using a computer.

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