Social media, particularly Facebook, has grown more important to U.S. retailers for engaging with and attracting new customers, according to the “State of Retailing Online 2015,” conducted by Shop.org, Forrester Research Inc. and Bizrate Insights.
Overall, 63 percent of retailers surveyed increased their online merchandising budgets this year compared with 2014, while 49 percent increased their online merchandising staffing. In addition, the survey found that 63 percent of retailers plan to spend more on search engine marketing and 58 percent expect to increase spending on social media marketing to complement paid search, email outreach and affiliate marketing tactics.
A quarter of retailers surveyed cited Facebook as their top acquisition platform, while half confirmed they will spend more on paid Facebook options this year to promote posts and advertise products, according to the data. YouTube was in second place, with 29 percent of retailers expecting to spend more on paid options through video, followed by Pinterest (27 percent), Twitter (22 percent), Instagram (20 percent) and Snapchat (6 percent).