Those receiving ecommerce training or earning a general business degree online can utilize social media to increase online sales. A Florida university completed a study that showed that a social media icon such as a Twitter hashtag or a Facebook "like" button could increase the likelihood that consumers would buy some products and decrease the chance they'd buy others.
For the study, nearly 200 consumers browsed products online, and researchers found that the presence of an icon on a product that was considered desirable - such as sportswear or fragrances - made people 25 percent more likely to purchase. When the icons were associated with more private products, such as acne medicine or shaping underwear, people were 25 percent less likely to buy.
"Our study finds that the mere presence of social media icons on a web page where we shop appears to cause us to feel as if our purchases are being watched by our social network, and we adjust our buying decisions accordingly," said Claudia Townsend, an assistant professor of marketing at the university. "Marketers should be aware that the placement of these symbols in their web design strategy could have a major impact on buying behavior."
The popularity of ecommerce has been skyrocketing in recent months, with a major push during the 2011 holiday shopping season. According to Luxury Daily, the industry could grow 17 percent this year.