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Retailers say social media impacting business

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Asked which technology-related trends are having a significant impact on their business, a leading 71% of retailers pointed to social media, with a majority also citing mobile/online shopping (52%) and mobile/online promotions and coupons (51%) as significant influences, per results [pdf] from a KPMG survey.

The researchers note that “brick and mortar stores are now viewed with newfound potential,” largely as a result of new social and mobile technologies.

Interestingly, despite most retailers seeing social as having the biggest impact on their business, a recent study from RSR Research suggests that e-commerce sites and consumer smartphone use might be more valuable in driving in-store traffic and sales than a social presence.

Also of note, just 12% of retailers responding to the KPMG survey believe that showrooming is having a significant impact on their business. That follows from recent data from xAd and Telmetrics suggesting that showrooming might not be as common as previously thought.

Retailers are still striving to achieve a single view of the customer across channels, and the KPMG survey indeed shows that retailers are most often using data and analytics to support customer insights. But while data and analytics can be useful for operational excellence and customer acquisition, just 12% of respondents characterize their maturity in this area as “high data analytics literacy.” Still, another one-third describe themselves as rapidly moving towards that level of literacy, while only 11% describe themselves as having below-average or low literacy.

About the Data: The KPMG survey was conducted in February-March 2013 and reflects the viewpoints of 101 senior executives in the United States. Based on revenue in the most recent fiscal year, 34 percent of respondents work for institutions with annual revenues exceeding $10 billion, 15 percent with annual revenues between $5 billion to $10 billion, and 34 percent with revenues in the $1 billion to $4.9 billion range.