Aug 8, 2010

E-Commerce Social Integration Study With Examples - 100 Online Retailers Analyzed

Brian Chappell | August 03, 2010

E-commerce social media integration is on the rise and most online retailers are integrating social in some fashion on their websites. Whether they utilize above fold real estate to do so or are burying it deep within product pages, there is no doubt that integrating it with the traditional website is important for brands.
We decided to answer the following questions by analyzing the top 100 retailers on-site social media integration, we used the following list of companies to do so:
  • What percentage of sites have some sort of social sharing integration?
Homepage Specific
  • What percentage of sites utilize homepage real estate to promote their social presences?
  • What percentage of sites promote their social assets, such as Twitter, Youtube, Facebook etc?
  • What percentage of sites promote their Facebook Fan page?
  • What percentage of sites promote their Twitter page?
Product Page Specific
  • What percentage of sites have product page social sharing integration?
  • What percentage of sites utilize FB Like functionality?
  • What percentage of sites utilize FB Share functionality?
  • What percentage of sites utilize the addthis widget for sharing?

Homepage Social Integration

Product Page Social Integration

So what does all this mean you might wonder? 

  1. was often promoted by itself on the homepage of sites while Twitter wasn't. According to these 100 sites Twitter does not appear to be as important of a social channel to grow as Facebook.
  2. Social and sharing callouts were typically near email newsletter signup callouts.
  3. Facebook share is still the most popular sharing mechanism, over Facebook like. Possibly because marketers realize the value in the title manipulation capabilities, thumbnail and news feed aggregation option it has that the like button doesnt.
  4. More sites currently use the addthis widget than facebook like on their sites.
  5. The top retailers were more likely to utilize homepage space for social callouts than product landing pages.
  6. Athleta, Avon,, CVS,, , Garmin,, Max Furniture, and Smith & Noble felt no need to promote their social assets or implement any sort of social sharing on their sites. This begs you to wonder why, and makes you question, are there greater problems at the wheel that would keep them from doing so?
Below you will find screenshots of social integration in action, on some of the sites we analyzed.

Homepage Social Callouts

Social Sharing On Product Pages

In Closing

A large majority of the sites (67% of them in fact) feel integrating some sort of social sharing on their site is worth doing. 73% of the top 100 retailers also feel the need to promote Twitter or Facebook on their site. If you thought social wasn't becoming mainstream yet, then judging by these 100 sites I think its pretty safe to say it is. There is real value in integrating your current site with sharing features and promoting your Facebook/Twitter presences where applicable.
With that said, it is important to test any sort of integration you do. At the end of the day you want more sales, so if all those additional callouts are inhibiting them, take them down! Stacking 15 different sharing buttons near your buy button might not be worth it and could deter users. Taking up 15% of your above the fold homepage screen real estate for your Facebook fan widget might not be helping your bottom line like you think. Test, Measure and Optimize.
I am curious though what you think about all of this. Leave your comments below.