Study shows 90% of people buy from Brands they Follow 

A new study has shown that Social Media plays a significant role in building a loyal customer base, finding that 9 out of 10 shoppers say they buy from the brands they follow on social media.

Social Sprout, a company that deals with social media analytics for business, surveyed 1000 consumers to understand how they behave online, and what that means for their shopping habits. The study also found that 75% of people will spend more with a brand they follow, which is a 12% increase on 2019, demonstrating the growing importance of social media marketing.

“While social media is a powerful channel for brand awareness, it’s also a proven business accelerator. In fact, a strong brand presence on social media can drive consumers to purchase and give brands a leg up over their closest competitors,” said Jamie Gilpin, CMO at Sprout Social. “This is especially true in today’s environment. Brands who fail to stand out on social or lack the ability to analyze social data are missing a big business opportunity, which can be crucial for future success.”

So how can brands connect with consumers, and build a loyal base? 61% of consumers noted engagement with the audience is the most important characteristic that they will look for in a brand’s social media presence, with transparency and strong customer service being similarly important.

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Speed of response is also crucial to consumers, with 40% saying they expect brands to reply to their messages within the first hour, while 79% expect a response within 24 hours.

As part of the report, the company also carried out a separate survey, this time turning their attention to social marketers. One of the key insights here showed that 69% of those surveyed said boosting brand awareness was the top goal for social channels. After that was increasing web traffic, and growing the brand’s audience.


Kendra Scott Launches AR Try-On Tool For Jewelry

Kendra Scott AR

Jewelry company Kendra Scott has introduced a new tool that utilizes augmented reality to help iPhone users try-on their products virtually.

The function can be accessed via the company’s website, using the Safari browser on an iPhone. From there, users can select the AR preview to see how various products look on them. Thanks to the dynamic movement capabilities of the technology, the AR jewelry will move in sync with the user, so if they were to try on a ring it would be possible to see it from a multitude of different angles.

The brand has begun with earrings but will be adding AR capabilities for necklaces, bracelets, rings, and more over the next while. The brand is just the latest retailer to jump on the Augmented Reality train, with companies like ASOS and Burberry recently announcing Augmented Reality features. With Coronavirus restrictions keeping most of the world indoors, Augmented Reality has become a helpful tool to give customers a closer service to what they would receive in-store. With retailers being forced to focus on their online sales during the pandemic, it is likely we will continue to see more of these innovative features rolled out over the coming months.


Online Retailers Report Uptick As Restrictions Start To Ease

Online Shopping

Retailers have noticed continued online growth, even as brick and mortar stores begin to open across the world.

Online sales reached a ten year high in April, growing by 23.8% according to IMRG. It was noted that this large growth was driven ‘overwhelmingly’ by Multichannel retailers, who saw sales increase by 35%. In contrast, online-only retailers saw sales increase by 8%. Online gardening was the big winner, with sales increasing by 288%.

Luxury goods sales are expected to take another big hit during the second quarter of the year, but online luxury sales are still strong in many cases, with consultancy firm Bain commenting that the pandemic will speed the shift to digital shopping, which is expected to account for 30% of sales in 2025. Hugo Boss has reported a 39% increase in online retail during the first quarter of the year.

Specific types of retailers have benefitted from changing consumer behavior during the quarantine. Home goods, athletic goods, and loungewear have been the three verticals seeing the biggest increases in online sales as of late.