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8thBridge's Second Annual Social Commerce IQ Study Reveals New Retail Leaders Who Adopted Significantly Different Success Strategies Over Past Year

Companies Who Focused Predominantly on Social Network Presence Dropped Off Leader List, While a New Vanguard Created Richer Social Shopping Experiences Integrated Directly with Their Websites

MINNEAPOLIS, Dec. 11, 2012 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- 8thBridge®, the market leader in social commerce, today announced the results of its second annual Social Commerce IQ (SCIQ) report, which analyzed the social commerce strategies of the majority of companies on the Internet Retailer 500 (IR 500) list.  The study revealed a number of new best practices as compared to the 2011 report, including an extended focus beyond simply increasing social network presence to include creating richer social shopping experiences that are directly integrated with, and driven from, the top players' ecommerce sites.

(Info: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20121211/CG27409)

The 2012 SCIQ: Retail report covered more than double the number of companies as the 2011 study, which focused entirely on retail brands.  The report also reflected a major shift in social commerce strategy that is perhaps best exemplified by increasing interest in Pinterest, which has been adopted among 78 percent of IR 500 companies in less than a year but has not generated a corresponding rise in traffic or sales conversion.  Pinterest emphasizes curation and the concept of an Interest Graph that creates more meaningful connections based on things that interest people rather than simply who they know. 

"In line with the expanding role of social commerce and the new skill sets required by companies to fully monetize its benefits, this year's SCIQ Top 25 reflect both traditional and non-traditional companies," said Wade Gerten, CEO of 8thBridge, Inc.  "Three types of companies have emerged as leaders in this year's report – the first is ecommerce companies that have deeply integrated social functionality into their sites, the second is 'in-transition' companies that do well in all social commerce areas, and the third is strong viral companies that score exceptionally well in social network branding and referral traffic."

The top retailers identified in the SCIQ report included many who were new both to the SCIQ 25 list as well as this year's IR 500 rankings.  Based on a weighted total of four key success factors, the top 25 companies are:

  1. Fab.com 
  2. DebShops.com
  3. Coastal.com
  4. Modcloth.com
  5. PetFlow.com
  6. ShoeDazzle.com
  7. JackThreads.com
  8. CafePress.com
  9. Birchbox.com
  10. Totsy.com
  11. Heels.com
  12. NastyGal.com
  13. Sears.com
  14. Ice.com
  15. Threadless.com
  16. WetSeal.com
  17. Store.NBA.com
  18. AE.com (American Eagle Outfitters)
  19. AMIclubwear.com
  20. Barneys.com
  21. CharlotteRusse.com
  22. Forever21.com
  23. OneKingsLane.com
  24. Aerie.com
  25. Spencersonline.com

Details about the Report

The 2012 SCIQ: Retail report covered a broad spectrum of retail brands in segments ranging from apparel, computers/electronics, health/beauty and jewelry, to toys/hobbies, flowers/gifts and sporting goods.  Mirroring the latest social commerce adoption trends, the report evaluated four success factors as the industry extends beyond focusing exclusively on social network presence to include integrating a richer set of social networking experiences directly with their own ecommerce sites.  These success factors include:

  • Increasing brand awareness on social networks, including not only Brand-to-Fan sharing on Facebook fan pages, but also friend-to-friend sharing facilitated by deeper website integration with social networks.
  • Increasing total upstream social traffic, as percentage of total traffic from each of the social networks.
  • Increasing website "social lift," which is measured by the increase in site visits, conversion and shopping basket size that results from implementing engaging social experiences that promote social sharing, rewards, curation and discovery.
  • Increasing social CRM (SCRM) potential, which is evaluated both by the social experience that is provided in order to collect social data, and by what type of data is collected.

The report also identified specific best practices that top brands implemented during 2012, including offering social expression capabilities and rewards, creating social list and curation opportunities, enabling social discovery features, and using Interest Graph data.  Other key usage statistics emerged, including:

  • Facebook upstream traffic is now 2.46%
  • Pinterest upstream traffic is now 0.11% (low)
  • Twitter upstream traffic is now: 0.06% (a distant third)
  • 35% of companies researched had apps on Facebook that were not functioning and/or were out of date.
  • 51% of companies have incorporated the Pin It button 

Additionally, the report included results from a survey of 1,819 U.S. residents between July 9 and July 12, 2012, regarding their Facebook usage and interest in social commerce.  Key findings include:

  • 70 percent of respondents would rather hear about a new product from a Facebook friend, than from a brand.
  • 57% have asked their friends on Facebook for advice before purchasing a product.
  • 31% say they don't share products on social networks, while 63% say they share on Facebook, 25% on Twitter, and 22% on Pinterest.
  • 64% said that more Facebook "likes" on a product do not increase the likelihood that they will buy that product.
  • 44% say they are most likely to discover new products compared to 21% on Pinterest and 13% on Twitter, but 37% don't pay attention to posts about products.
  • 56% do not share things on social networks to get rewards.

8thBridge® is a registered trademark of 8thBridge, Inc.

Facebook® is a registered trademark of Facebook, Inc.

Pinterest® is a registered trademark of Pinterest, Inc.

About 8thBridge, Inc.

8thBridge makes it possible for customers to shop where they socialize and socialize where they shop. 8thBridge's clients empower their customers to shop on their own terms in a shopping experience that is portable, personalized, and participatory. From the groundbreaking early days of F-Commerce with 1-800-Flowers in 2009, to the award winning Delta Air Lines social travel planning app in 2010, to the 2012 launch of the Ticketmaster Timeline app, 8thBridge has partnered with some of the world's most respected and innovative brands, including American Apparel, Blue Nile, Coach, Deb Shops, Delta Air Lines, Dogeared, Juicy Couture, Musician's Friend and Ticketmaster. 8thBridge is funded by Split Rock Partners and Trident Capital. For more information, connect with us at /www.8thbridge.com and on Twitter at twitter.com/8thBridge.

Media Contact:

Libby Smith, 8thBridge, 720.936.9889, lsmith@8thbridge.com

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SOURCE 8thBridge

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