Posted on September 17, 2007
Filed Under (Marketing) by jennifer
This summer, JupiterResearch, a leading authority on the impact of the Internet and emerging consumer technologies on business, released its latest US Retail Consumer Survey. What the researchers discovered, after surveying approximately 2,000 online shoppers, was that a majority (53 percent) went directly to retailer and manufacturer sites to research and purchase products (i.e., just typed in that URL), rather than using shopping comparison sites or social and/or community networking sites.

In fact, according to the lead analyst on the report, social and/or community networking sites barely factored into consumers’ buying decisions, at least the online consumers JupiterResearch surveyed. I found that very interesting as community and networking sites have gotten a lot of (positive) buzz the past couple of years. I’d even written about some of them, though, I confess, I only visit them if they happen to come up in a Google search.

Why am I blogging about this? Because if like most small businesses you have a small marketing budget and want to get the most bang for every buck, I wanted to let you know that you’re better off using that money on your own site — and on making it more attractive to search engines (through search engine optimization), particularly Google, which, according to the survey, still reigns supreme in the search world — than on, say, Facebook or MySpace or Yelp.  

That said, social networking sites and community sites do have their place, especially if you are marketing to a younger or niche demographic whose members are more prone to regularly visit and post and read comments on these sites.

Want to learn more? Check out my article for, titled “Social Commerce: Trend or Fad.” 

Disagree with the report or have suggestions on how small businesses with small marketing budgets should spend those dollars? Let me know. I’ll post legitimate (non-spam) comments.

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