The new survey, conducted by AMAS and published in the latest State of the Net quarterly bulletin, has found that many companies selling online in Ireland are not embedding social features into their sites, despite strong evidence that these features can improve customer loyalty and boost eCommerce revenues.
The study examined a cross-section of 100 sites that have built up an awareness and use among Irish consumers, and on which it is possible to transact business, from ordering an airline ticket to buying DVDs or banking online. For multinationals, the study assessed their localised Irish sites where possible.
A fifth of the sites had no social media features at all on their sites, and a further 42% had just one to three of the social features that were scored. These features were ten social criteria such as "like" features on Facebook and Twitter, customer reviews and what others are viewing or bought.
No site scored full marks, and the highest performing sites were Amazon.co.uk, with a score of 9 out of 10, and HMV.com, with 8 out of 10. The best-ranked Irish site was sports retailer Elverys with a score of 6.
"The study recognised that some sites may have decided for various reasons not to implement across all 10 criteria," said Aileen O’Toole, Managing Director of online consultancy AMAS, which publishes State of the Net. "Perhaps some businesses concentrate on the social features that are likely to deliver the most benefits.
"Even so, it’s surprising that a fifth of the businesses have no social media features at all on their sites – including some big guns such as Ryanair, Tesco and UPC. Social media is clearly changing consumers’ online purchasing behaviour, yet some online brands which have active Facebook and Twitter accounts do not promote their social media presence on their eCommerce sites."
Read the full results of the survey on www.amas.ie
Other trends plotted in the current issue of State of the Net, which is published in association with the Irish Internet Association, include:
- Irish businesses online – new research commissioned by Google looks at why two in five Irish SMEs still don’t have a website
- Internet use– Irish people are now spending the same amount of time each day on the internet as they do watching TV
State of the Net is available at www.amas.ie and www.iia.ie. Graphs from State of the Net are available for media reuse – see the AMAS blog at www.amas.ie/blog and SlideShare presentations at http://www.slideshare.net/AMASinternet