Tweets drive users to retail websites, and makes them more likely to buy [Survey]

A survey shows that Twitter users are more likely to make online purchases.

A survey by Twitter and Compete has shown that people exposed to brands via Twitter are more likely to make online purchases. The report says: “Overall, Twitter users are heavy online retail shoppers and buyers. Additionally, the more Tweets that Twitter users see, the more likely they are going to buy. This provides support to the hypothesis that Tweet exposure is a driver of purchase activity.”

The survey also found that far from driving traffic just to the major retailers, Twitter guided users to niche retailers too.  This is the so called ‘long –tail’ in marketing – online tools allow niche brands to reach out to users that previously would not have been able to discover them, creating a lifeline for small, niche businesses.

While the study was going on, 26.9% of U.S. Internet users purchased something from a retail website. This rate was higher though for Twitter users. 33.4% of Twitter users in the survey made purchases from the same sites. Furthermore, if a user saw a retail tweet, that rate rose to 38.9%.

Another key point raised is that the more tweets people see, the more likely they are to buy. In a blog post Twitter say that if a user saw Tweets from a retailer on 12 days or more they were 32% more likely to purchase from those retailers.  98% of customers who saw 12 or more Tweets from a retailer visited the retail site, with a 51.4% purchase rate. This dropped to a 95.6% visit rate, with a 34.4% buy rate if users only saw up to four tweets.

Brands do though have to be aware of what they are tweeting. Just adding more noise online is of little benefit to the consumer, and consequently of little benefit to a brand. Twitter recommends that brands should “start by sharing relevant, timely messages that Twitter users will find valuable. Then, test and experiment to find the frequency “Tweetspot” with your audience. “

It’s easy to be cynical about a company conducting a survey that proves how useful its service is. However, there is now an expectation from users that they are going to be able to engage with brands both big and small online, and Twitter is one of the best ways of doing this. Ultimately, this survey shows that a brand taking time to engage on Twitter will come to reap the rewards with increased sales.

You can read the full report here.