Social Media Brings Retail Challenges


Only 7% of British online shoppers visiting a site buy something. Interestingly, 71% of online shoppers brought in via social media complete a purchase after a transaction has been initiated.

These findings are from recent research by e-payment provider Sage Pay, the U.K.’s fastest growing independent payment service provider, which surveyed 2,000-plus U.K.-based online businesses in March.

Even though social media may get prospective buyers’ nose in the tent, Web retailers can do a better job at closing the deal.

Sage Pay’s E-Business Benchmark Report indicates a need for businesses to create stronger marketing tools and better leverage social media marketing including…no surprise, adverts on an ‘undervalued tool’ – Facebook.[more]
(PSP), a division of FTSE 100 business software company Sage, is among the most trusted e-commerce brands and processes millions of secure payments for 30,000 customers annually.

In an ironic twist, the research also indicated that only 5% of marketers polled found social media was the most effective communication channel.

“As the ecommerce market matures, e-businesses need to do more to make the most of their potential. The stats show that merchants are pretty good at getting shoppers to their site but at the crucial point they are letting customers slip away,” said Simon Black, Managing Director, Sage Pay.

“Our report identifies what successful businesses are doing to get customers buying and provides those doing business on the net with an opportunity to benchmark their e-business.”

The research report is divided into four categories: marketing, influencing a purchase, making it easy for people to pay, and security and fraud.

Key findings include:

  • Providing on-site reassurance such as a security policy and money back guarantee helps with checkout success;
  • E-businesses with fewer checkout pages convert more sales;
  • Social media drives loyalty and helps to convert sales;
  • Successful e-businesses customise their payment pages (97%).

Some 65% of e-businesses agree that Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) are important, but 1/3 of them don’t actually know if  they are compliant or not. 

“The modern shopper often looks for reassurance from a positive review, a special offer to make it more affordable, inexpensive delivery options and a quick, easy and secure way to pay,” added Black.

A free copy of the report is available here and includes information about:

  • Marketing – getting people to your site
  • Influencing a purchase
  • Making it easy for people to pay
  • Security and fraud prevention
  • Industry leader interviews and predictions on UK e-commerce.