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Study: Retailers Are Ignoring More Than 80% of Customers’ Social Media Requests


August 23, 2016

Statistics from the Spout Social’s Q4 2015 Index found that retailers failed to respond to more than 80 percent of consumer questions and requests on social media in the last year, particularly during the holiday shopping season. During the fourth quarter of 2014, only 16.35 percent of customer queries to retailers were answered.

Compounding the issue is the fact that consumers are more demanding during the run-up to the holidays. According to Martin Beck reporting for Marketingland.com, there was a 21-percent increase in the number of inbound social media messages to retailers last year from the third quarter to the fourth. Sprout Social expects the same this year, predicting that the average retailer will get more than 1,500 messages on Facebook and Twitter during the holiday season.

According to the report, even retailers that regularly answer questions on social media struggle to keep up, taking an average of 12 hours’ response time. In addition, most business’ social media accounts are used for promotional messages more often than replies.

Sprout Social recommends that retailers up their response game, noting another study that found people are seven times more likely to respond to promotions after a brand interacts with them in a meaningful way.

“Social media is an integral part of consumers’ daily lives and a critical communication channel for brands to engage in conversation with their customers during the holidays,” said Sprout Social CMO Scott Brandt. “Whether answering a product question or confirming a customer’s gift order, brands have an opportunity to positively influence awareness, customer loyalty, positive sentiment and seasonal sales through social media engagement.”

Sprout Social mentioned certain social media platforms in particular as the most useful to address users’

“It’s worth taking a deeper look at customer service on Facebook since it is generally where people are seeking answers from retailers,” Sprout Social recommended. “Bottom line: You should be able to improve your response rates and times if you understand where people are reaching out to your brand in the greatest numbers.”

Find the original report from Marketingland.com here.

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