Consumers engage with retailers on Facebook more than they do on the retailer websites, according to a new retail study from Infosys. Nine out of 10 consumers indicated that how much they spend is impacted by their social media engagement with a brand.

Infosys, a global leader in consulting, technology, and outsourcing, released the report titled, “Rethinking Retail,” which is comprised of interviews with 1,000 consumers and 50 retailers across the U.S. In addition to the impact of social media on consumer spend, the study reveals how retailers are struggling to create the kind of consistent and personalized experience online and in stores that drives increased sales.

Here are some key takeaways from the report:

Social media matters:  Consumers interact with retailers’ Facebook pages (38%) more than the brands; own websites (36%); a difference that is significantly more pronounced for younger consumers

89%of those who interact with a retailer online through any social media outlet say that the interaction has an impact on their purchase

Women are twice as likely as men to be influenced by Pinterest; YouTube influences twice as many men as women

Only 2% of all people polled say that FourSquare has any influence on their purchases

 Brand consistency across channels significantly impacts consumer spend

 Nearly two-thirds of consumers say that consistency plays a role in their tendency to spend with a brand (63%)

 A third (34%) say high consistency across a brand’s channels would mean a greater spend, while a lack of consistency        results in a reduction in their spending (39 percent)

Consumers see far fewer in-store personalized offers than retailers claim they offer; retailers losing out

59% of consumers who have experienced personalization believe it has a noticeable influence on their spending

Though 62% of retailers reported that they offer personalized offers in store, only 20% of consumers report seeing ‘in-store only’ personalized offers

Online shoppers are regularly targeted with more personalized perks than those who shop in-store

39% of brands offer product recommendations based on customers’ previous purchases online, versus only 10% in-store. A minority (45%) has offers both online and in-store

48% of organizations offer personalized offers/promotions based on customers’ previous purchases only online, just 3% do so only in-store

Consumers are three times more likely to impulse-buy in a store than online

Lack of technology limits retailers who want to offer superior customer      experience

 96% of consumers expect retailers to inform them of new products. Only 34% of retailers, however, can track consumer trends in real time, reducing their ability to rollout appropriate offers which can drive sales

Lack of technology is the most common factor (38%) preventing retailers from creating a more integrated customer experience within their organization

“Creating a consistent experience across all physical and digital touch points has a direct impact on sales,” Sandeep Dadlani, Senior Vice President and Regional Head (Americas) - Retail, CPG and Logistics at Infosys, said in the report. “However, with the dominance of social media, creating a consistent and personalized relationship with consumers is now much harder. Retailers and brands need to arm themselves with the technology that can ensure their fans and brand advocates receive the same personalized service across channels to increase sales.”

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