You may hear people say they don’t “bother” with any of the social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Linkedin or Pinterest. They will tell you that these are just for people posting cute pictures of their kids or funny cats. Social media platforms are not serious places for advertising or even posting informational articles or blogs.
Let’s look at some recent statistics to see if this opinion is true. First, here are some figures on the number of users from year 2010 as projected into year 2018 in billions.
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OK. You can see that there are lots online users of social media, but are they buying? Can we find useful, informative, educational material using social media? Here is one of the online marketing gurus, Jay Baer, has to say about this.
As Jay says, “Content is fire. Social media is gasoline.” It’s a different approach to help customers, not just preach to them. Companies have to get faster, smarter and more social through their advertisements. The people are there on the home screens. It’s now up to the companies to tap into that gold mine of ready customers.
Let’s now look at online sales to access whether these people are ready to buy. Here’s the information from Metrics.com, a good website to view with lots of very pertinent articles about internet marketing. Online spending in Australia is projected to increase by about $10 billion in the next 5 years. Online shoppers in Africa are 30% of the population due to the spread of mobile phones and faster internet connections. South Africa now has a rate of 51% of internet users who shop online.
In the US the total for 2014 was $248.7 billion for online sales with a 10% increase forecast for the next 5 years , according to Forrester Research. In Western Europe, 2014 saw online sales totaling 14 billion Euros ($155.7) with a growth projection of 11% annually. Asia with China becoming a world financial power spent $525.2 billion in 2014, more than the US (almost double), according to emarketer.com
Not too many years ago most people shopped in their local stores complete with parking and weather problems, long lines, and wobbly shopping carts. Even when online shopping was available, people felt uncomfortable using their credit cards and giving their personal information to cyber-shops. That has all changed. Read more here.
One of the areas that has lagged behind is big ticket sales. Most of the online sales are smaller items that can easily and quickly be delivered. However, there is a great sales potential possible (and a very lucrative one) if companies can figure out the logistics of delivery and possible returns. Now that people are more comfortable with shopping online, here is another area to pursue.
I personally go to a store, find out what I want (size and model number), then go home and shop online with my shopping network, Dubli.com that will give me cash back savings, one of the best online business ideas. I guess you would call me a hybrid online shopper. Soon there will be stats on the use of social media sites for shopping as this is now starting big time.