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Boston – October 3, 2012

U.S. Consumers Prefer Shopping with Retailers Directly Versus Purchasing Over Social Media Channels, New hybris Study Finds

The hybris Social Media and Shopping Survey found over 65 percent of U.S consumers would not purchase from a retailer’s social media site if they could, citing privacy concerns as one of the key reasons

hybris, a leading provider of multichannel commerce and communication software, announced today the results of its U.S. 2012 Social Media and Shopping Survey which analyzed U.S. consumers’ attitudes, behaviors and purchasing habits with regards to retailers and their social media channels.

The study found that the majority of respondents (65%) do not visit social media channels to interact with and/or get information from their preferred retailers. Of those respondents, the majority said that they prefer to go directly to retailers’ stores or websites, with concerns about the privacy of their information on social media sites being the second highest ranked reason in terms of importance for not interacting with retailers on social media.

For those consumers who do visit social media channels to interact with their preferred retailers, the overwhelming majority (75%) chose Facebook as the channel they use most often to do so, citing “to receive notices about sales” and “to receive coupons/online codes” as the primary reasons for “liking” a retailer’s Facebook page, with 74% of respondents selecting these options as the most important. These responses ranked higher in preference than “to learn about company/product news”, “to read consumers’ reviews/feedback” and “to show my friends what products and brands I prefer”, respectively. Respondents selected YouTube as the social media channel they use the least to interact with and/or get information from/about their preferred retailers.

When asked if they would purchase directly from a retailer’s social media channel if they could, the majority of respondents (66%) said that they would not, with top reasons including that they would prefer to purchase directly from the retailer, whether online or in-store, and that they don’t trust the privacy of their information on social media sites, with this response ranked highest in terms of importance (38%) to respondents.

“While social media channels can be valuable awareness-generating vehicles for retailers, they are not currently preferred options for consumers when it comes to purchasing, with consumers visiting retailers’ social media sites to gather information that they will then oftentimes use to complete a purchase via another channel,” said Steven Kramer, North America president of hybris. “Consumers continue to want information when they want it, where they want it and how they want it, but when it comes to actually making a purchase, social media is not a preferred or trusted choice. This demonstrates the importance of retailers having a cohesive, cross-channel marketing and commerce strategy, with social media just a piece of the overall multichannel puzzle.”

Beyond Facebook
With regards to Pinterest, when asked what they would like to see retailers provide when they click on their friends’ pinned items, respondents most often ranked “to receive coupons” as their first choice in terms of importance (52%). This option was followed by “to receive special offers”, “to see related products” and “to see consumers’ reviews/feedback regarding the products that were pinned”, respectively.

When it comes to Twitter, the majority of respondents, 77%, do not follow retailers on this social media channel. For the respondents that do follow retailers on Twitter, they do so to receive coupons/online codes (14%), to receive notices about sales (10%), to learn about company news (7%), to learn about new products (7%) and to be able to address a retailer in a public way (4%).

About the hybris 2012 Social Media and Shopping Survey
As a leader in multichannel commerce and communication software, hybris has helped more than 380 global brands communicate and sell across every channel, both online and offline, in a consistent and effective way. hybris conducted the 2012 Social Media and Shopping Survey to provide a clearer understanding to businesses of how social media fits into the overall multichannel commerce landscape.

The study surveyed more than 500 consumers in the U.S. across varied ages, with an almost equal distribution of genders.