200+ Online Retailers Tell All: Facebook Is Their BFF

August 21, 2015

We commissioned Redshift Research to poll over 200 online retailers — 100 in the US, 100 in the UK — to discover what consumer behavior trends are influencing their sales and what online strategies they’re using to gain a share of the consumer wallet. This series of blog posts will highlight the survey findings and help you improve your business.


If Facebook were to compete in the Olympics, it’d bring home the gold medal. If Facebook were to run for political office, it’d win the election. Heck, Facebook could probably devour the mound of 100 pork slices on Ramen noodles in seconds (yes, this repulsive pursuit has recently formed an existence). In the eyes of online retailers, Facebook is put on a pedestal — it’s THE social network to have a presence on.

When comparing all social media channels, nearly two-thirds (64%) of survey respondents said Facebook creates the most sales conversions. The runner up (and it was not close by any means) was Twitter — earning 19% of respondents’ votes as a top-converting social channel. As you can see in the chart below, Facebook left all other social channels in the dust.

social online retail survey graph

Even though Facebook took the reins for retailers’ ROI, respondents also reported having a presence on Twitter (70%), Instagram (45%) and Pinterest (41%). And this should come as no surprise — 89% of respondents are on Facebook.

So, in addition to sales conversions, what else are online retailers using social media for? Here’s what our survey respondents said:

  • Brand Boosting: For a third of survey respondents, increasing brand awareness tops the list as the main business objective for social media.


  • Dispersing Deals: Almost 20% of respondents’ primarily use social media to advertise deals and promotions.

Social media networks are dynamic and interactive entities that serve as powerful gateways for brands to connect with consumers — and vice versa! Today, Facebook serves as the most effective channel for online retailers, but that could be a different story tomorrow — which is why it’s critical for you, as a retailer, to keep up with the evolving trends of your target market and competitors.

Last week on the blog we discussed the mobile and payment trends that our 2015 Online Retail Survey revealed. Next week, we’ll dive into marketplaces and fulfillment methods. Feeling impatient? Click here to see the full report.


Blog post by Jordan Nowlin, social media and blog manager, ChannelAdvisor


social media online retail survey