Tweets lead to sales success

23 November 2012

NEW YORK: Retailers that achieve high levels of exposure on Twitter are likely to enjoy benefits in terms of website visits and ecommerce purchases among the microblog's users, a study has found.

Twitter and Compete, the insights group, reported that 89.9% of a 2,600-strong panel representing the US web population accessed the web platform of one of 665 retailers assessed over a two-week period.

Figures here rose to 94.4% when discussing a second sample, which comprised the same number of people, and comprised of Twitter members that had not been exposed to tweets from these retailers.

Totals on this metric peaked, however, at 95.2% for a third cohort of 2,600 people, who both used Twitter and read such messages.

Similarly, upon looking at purchases, a 26.9% share of the panel representing the entire internet population had completed transactions on a featured retail site.

In keeping with the broader trend, scores on this measure hit 33.4% for those Twitter members that had not viewed the associated retailer's tweet, and 38.9% among those which had.

These results proved consistent across seven product categories, including apparel and accessories, computers and electronics and food and drink.

For example, 43% of the participants who consumed tweets by mass merchants bought goods from these chains, versus ratings of 31% for the Twitter control group and 22% for the general web audience.

The frequency of exposure also exerted an impact, as 98% of people seeing 12 posts from a retailer visited their website, as did 95.6% if they saw two-to- four tweets, and 94.4% of unexposed users,

In analysing purchase levels, totals came in at 51.4% for the first of these three groups, falling to 34.4% for the second and 33.4% for the third.

"Twitter users are big online buyers but big brands aren't the only retailers that benefit," said Taylor Schreiner, the company's co-head of advertising research.

"Twitter brings people closer to a wide range of interests so niche retailers who connect with the highly engaged audience on Twitter often see a greater lift in results."

Data sourced from Twitter; additional content by Warc staff