Remember the days when you could go to a social media site like Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, and not have to worry about scrolling through online sales pitches. Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on your perspective and financial resources, you will now be seeing more “buy buttons” as you try to keep current in your social media world. Pinterest calls them “buyable pins,” while Instagram prefers “shop now.” What’s in a name anyway?
Social media experts estimate that one out of every five minutes spent on a mobile phone in the United States is devoted to Facebook or Instagram. What a marketing opportunity! But data collected so far does not support the commercial effectiveness of this social media strategy. For this past holiday season, social channels accounted for 1.8 percent of overall online sales. Over the same period in 2014, social media led to 1.9 percent of online sales. One of the explanations offered by retailers is that there is a “conversion gap” on mobile devices, meaning that there has been a surge in the number of people browsing sites from mobile devices, but only a small share of them making purchases. The biggest impediment appears to be the small screen size of the mobile device itself. The checkout process has often been described as an inconvenient hassle.
So I guess that size really does matter when trying to make a purchasing decision digitally. Who knows, you might even want to walk into a retail store and see the “real thing,” and have an unmediated social shopping experience?