{{ searchResult.published_at | date:'d MMMM yyyy' }}

Loading ...
Loading ...

Enter a search term such as “mobile analytics” or browse our content using the filters above.

No_results

That’s not only a poor Scrabble score but we also couldn’t find any results matching “”.
Check your spelling or try broadening your search.

Logo_distressed

Sorry about this, there is a problem with our search at the moment.
Please try again later.

In terms of follower and fan numbers, Topshop's social media strategy appears to be working well. It has the most followers on Twitter and Facebook fans of any UK retailer. 

According to a new Social Media Benchmark study by eDigital Research (registration/survey required), retailers are continuing to grow their presence on social networks, though less than half are currently offering consumers the option of shopping from these accounts. 

UK retailers' Facebook fans

Topshop has the largest presence on Facebook, with more than 1.3m foilowers, and fashion brands in general dominate the top ten.

The number of new followers column shows how many these retailers have added since January 2011: 

UK retailers Facebook fans

While most retailers are continuing to grow follower numbers, ASOS and Amazon stand out on this list. In the case of ASOS, it has added 135,000 fans since January and, at the time of writing, a further 38,000, taking the grand total to 556,314. 

This is impressive growth, and coincides with the launch of its f-commerce store in January this year. 

Though this list is made up of UK retailers, the Amazon stats given here relate to its US based Facebook presence. While this page now has more than 700,000 fans, the UK version has just 45,000. 

You can see why the US page is rapidly growing though. Aside from the popularity of the brand, it is running weekly sweepstakes giving away prizes like home theatre systems, and all people have to do is hit the like button. 

For fashion retailers, their target demographic tend to be heavy social media users, so it makes perfect sense to target them via Facebook, and to a lesser extent, Twitter. 

In the case of Topshop, content is regularly updated to keep 'fans' interested, while not so frequently that it becomes too much. The retailer uses exclusive deals and interactive content to keep people interested and drive traffic from Facebook to its e-commerce site. 

Topshop Facebook

Landing pages 

The fashion retailers is this study have been creative with their Facebook landing pages, with most using custom pages with plenty of colour and interactive content. 

The best examples of Facebook pages have a fun, engaging landing page which draws users in and encourages them to click the like button to expand their following, and therefore visibility, on Facebook. 

The River Island landing page below is a great example of this. It has a competition to help drive more people to follow the brand, with a nice clear call to action pointing at the Like button. It also promotes its own collection with the competition to create an outfit from the page. 

River Island Facebook page

F-commerce

Of the 20 retailers that eDigital studied, just nine are offering users the chance to shop from their Facebook pages, which is a missed opportunity for the other 11. Some, such as Argos, are displaying their products on the site, but haven't added links for people to make a purchase.  

Two of these retailers, ASOS and JD Sports, have already set up f-commerce stores so that customers can shop directly from the site. 

The fact that people have bothered to come to the Facebook page, hit the Like button and spend time there indicates that they are more engaged with the brand, and therefore more likely to make a purchase.

Not adding links to product pages, or even setting up a store on the site represents a missed opportunity to drive sales from Facebook. 

Twitter followers

Topshop also has the most Twitter followers. Though Amazon is in third place here, as with the Facebook fans, the stats relate to its US based Twitter presence. The UK version has 19,000 followers. 

UK retailers' Twitter followers

Topshop's Twitter account combines details of new products with chat, all in a relaxed and friendly tone. As with the Facebook page, Topshop adds regular updates, but not too many. 

A recent report found that UK retailers were unresponsive on social media channels, with the majority failing to respond to direct questions and comments from consumers, but ASOS sets a great example in this regard for other retailers on Twitter. 

It has split its presence into various different accounts, from deals and special offers, to customer service. ASOS staff tweet regularly, and respond to customer questions and comments. 

Mobile social media

According to new comScore data, 7.9m UK mobile users accessed social networks from their phones at least daily, while 14.7m people did so at least once during March 2011. 

With so many potential customers accessing brands' social media profiles, how these pages look on mobile screens is another consideration for brands. 

In the case of Twitter, the text-based nature of the site means that the user experience isn't too compromised on mobile, but lively and image-heavy Facebook pages can look relatively dull on mobile sites and apps.

Creating a better Facebook user experience on mobile, or adapting deals and promotions to the format will be a challenge for retailers, though it does offer opportunities for promotions around the user's current location. 

Graham Charlton

Published 9 May, 2011 by Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton is the former Editor-in-Chief at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter or connect via Linkedin or Google+

2565 more posts from this author

Comments (24)

Comment
No-profile-pic
Save or Cancel
Avatar-blank-50x50

Ilana

Hi Graham, how are you? ;)

Great stats, really useful.

Yet ...

"The fact that people have bothered to come to the Facebook page, hit the Like button and spend time there indicates that they are more engaged with the brand, and therefore more likely to make a purchase."

Yet there's no indication of how much time a person spends 'engaging' (whatever that means in this context) with the brand once they've hit the 'Like' button.

I've worked with several of the retailers on the list, and only a small percentage of total Likers/Fans are active (in terms of viewing and interacting) on the brands' official pages.

An even smaller number would be likely to purchase from a Facebook store - so I'm not convinced that not having a FB store is a missed opportunity. I think it's more a case of brands sitting and waiting to see if they're worth the investment.

Ilana x

about 5 years ago

Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton, Editor in Chief at ClickZ Global

Hi Ilana,

Stats on time spent would have been useful, but aren't covered in this report.

I think the missed opportunity here is in not even linking to products that are being promoted via Facebook pages, not necessarily the lack of a store on Facebook - how well that works is unclear as yet.

about 5 years ago

Peter Gould

Peter Gould, Senior PPC Analyst at Epiphany

@ Ilana - good points. There will definitely be a case of brands sitting and waiting to see if they're worth the investment long term. It's probably a little early to tell at this stage.

I do think though, that if some retailers don't have a Facebook page at present, it is a missed opportunity, purely on the basis that it could be an untapped, and potentially profitable market for them.

This, however, is providing they have the time and resource internally to maintain a Facebook presence in terms of ongoing engagement with their followers and making content available.

about 5 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Ilana

Absolutely agree that if a product is featured it should a) be in stock, and b) linked to with a trackable URL to gain an idea of conversion rates from within Facebook.

Lots more I could say on this, but I have a flight to catch ... next time!

Ilana x

about 5 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Wessel van Rensburg

It all depends what you mean by an Fcommerce store.

Is the Facebook page a window for the products? If the user clicks on the product, do you stay within the Facebook framework? That often makes for bad user shopping experience. (Not to mention the nightmare of integrating into inventory other systms)

People forget that you can still use the Facebook API for social functions (to show items friends have bought etc) and give the user a great user experience. No need to do everything on Facebook. In fact it can be counter productive. Storefront yes. Everything? No way.

Also note that more than one study have shown that most users (95%) never see the Facebook page, what they see is updates in the newsfeed.

As such the wall and having good content there is crucial. A brand should act like a casual friend.

about 5 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Carole Scott

It's interesting that fashion brands dominate the top ten on Facebook. It would be interesting to see this research broken down by category so that we could see how supermarkets compare against each other, department stores, food etc...

about 5 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Jamil Kassam

Does anyone know is that actually PC World (ie. DSGi) in position 4 on the Twitter list, or the PC magazine?

about 5 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Mike Farrow

Brilliant research, kudos to Topshop and the fashion crowd.

People may not be engaging heavily or shopping a great deal at the moment but when they do it will change in Internet time i.e. overnight.

Building up a presence on the other hand will take even longer than it does now because people will become jaded and expect greater incentives.

Those that do not start early and learn quick will be yesterday's brands!

about 5 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Phil

I believe Wessel raises an interesting point when he says "People forget that you can still use the Facebook API for social functions (to show items friends have bought etc) and give the user a great user experience. No need to do everything on Facebook."

My main concern with this is the pace in which Facebook is integrating itself into people's lives. Each and every day new functionality is added to the site which seem to be a substitute to services we normally get from other companies in other websites (think of the new email-like messaging service Facebook has just implemented - are the days of Gmail and Hotmail counted?).
If we start investing too much time and effort on Facebook, soon we'll be giving away control of our entire digital life to one single corporation!
Image what they could do with data on your shopping habits? how much more targeted their ads to you could be and how many other services would be developed off the back of having this new data?
I think we all must be really careful with what we're getting ourselves into...

about 5 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Jeremy Waite

Great article, but I'm upset that our efforts aren't being showcased in your top Facebook retailers list. Maybe it's an old report? Phones 4u has 211,791 feisty fans for which I am responsible, putting us above JD Sports and (sadly) knocking Ann Summers out of the top 10! I love your posts, but I think if you're going to lead with an engaging title such as "Which retailers are thriving on Facebook", then you need accurate info. We are one of the fastest growing Facebook brands in the UK at the moment - and the 4th biggest within mobile just behind O2, Vodafone and Blackberry. I don't mean to be anal about your stats, but we've worked hard to get where we are! Otherwise, keep up the great writing...! :)

about 5 years ago

Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton, Editor in Chief at ClickZ Global

Hi Jeremy,

They are eDigital's stats, and the report was released last week, though they are clearly a bit older than that. JD Sports now has around 211,000 fans as well.

about 5 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Gareth Mee, CEO, nToklo

It’s great to see so many high profile retailers embracing social interaction with their customers in this way, taking advantage of the opportunity presented by social media. However, I’m not surprised that less than half are offering shopping through social networks as it will be harder to develop relationships with customers if you hand over the entire transaction to a third party like Facebook.

We recently compared some stats which showed that some top retailers in the UK have on average 10 times more unique users on their websites in one month than they do overall global likes on their main Facebook pages. When looking into social commerce, brands should consider taking advantage of their large existing communities by adding VAS (Value Added Services) social features to their own sites, rather than just focusing on developing a Facebook store to satisfy a social commerce proposition.

about 5 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Toby Schuster

The title of this article is actually misleading. If by thriving you mean harvesting fans, friends and likes then yes, TopShop et al aren't doing too badly. But, and i guess this is the holy grail of social media, are these numbers reflected in the retailers' bottom line? Recent research from Forrester suggests that only 2% of orders are generated through social networks so instead of rushing to bump up numbers of fans on various sites retailers should look at social media from a strategic point of view and clearly align output-led goals (i.e. number of fans) to outcomes (i.e. engagement rate) and desired business results.

about 5 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Ian Bowland

Some interesting points here! Agree with Ilana, Wessell and Jeremy.
Likes do not necessarily mean sales (although it is a way to keep brands front of mind). I say this as someone who works very closely with a brand very nearly on this set of stats. Phil's concerns of wholesale integration of facebook ever changing technologies also rings true in that facebook really does have access to an astounding array of customer data and sales values. This is only likely to increase!

about 5 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Jane Dixon, Practice Manager, Customer Excellence, EMEA at SmartFocusEnterprise

I don't think it's a coincidence that the top brands using Facebook are fashion retailers. Yes they have a target demographic who are more actively engaged in social networks. More importantly though, the people who work within fashion retail tend to be passionate about the product and have something interesting to say about it.

Is a lack of f-commerce a missed opportunity? probably but I don't believe its central to a successful social campaign, having something to say and a marketing team empowered to say it probably contributes more.

about 5 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

David Quaid

Hi Graham,

Can I just point out some of the terms you are using:

"Impressive Growth" - even though many of these companies show no growth at all

"Driving Traffic" - the best measurement we've seen for facebook traffic --> a site is somewhere between 0.11% and 2% - that's not really driving is it?

How much of this is still wanton theory: "The more fans/followers/likes on facebook = more engagement" ?

about 5 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

David Gabbie

The stats for social media are encouraging. We're starting to see a pattern of better engagement for promoting products and how-to guides on Facebook than our opt-in email list.

Engaging the customer at the 'Like' page is extremely important in the same way we emphasise on landing page optimisation. If we could get bounce rates from FB for that data, it would be extremely helpful.

It will be interesting to see how f-commerce develops. It's very much in its infancy and for a company like ours, it will be difficult to see how our suppliers would allow the products to be retailed in a different environment. I don't think we'll be seeing the likes of Chanel retailing their products on FB anytime soon but that's not to say with evolution things will change.

about 5 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Victoria

Post and comments give some good food for thought! Thanks to all who've contributed.
Demographics have a big part to play, different audiences can be found on Facebook, Twitter etc. A younger audience on Facebook means that brands like Topshop and ASOS have a better chance to accumulate a larger following than the likes of Marks & Spencer and Waterstones. Therefore, does it not make more sense for Topshop and such to make a bigger investment in their Facebook effort - which is precisely what they're doing.
As David says, "with evolution things will change" - the younger audience on Facebook will grow up and mature into an audience that will be ready to 'consume' other brands via FB, even the likes of Chanel.

about 5 years ago

Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton, Editor in Chief at ClickZ Global

@David Quaid The term impressive growth was used in connection with the growth in Facebook fans for ASOS, which I think is impressive.

The traffic to e-commerce sites from social media sites is still relatively small. A recent report put the figure at 3% for the 'top 40 UK retail sites'

http://econsultancy.com/uk/blog/7120-social-media-drives-3-of-traffic-to-e-commerce-sites

However, some are getting more traffic than this. For example, I'm told by ASOS that traffic from Twitter and Facebook combined accounts for more than 6% of its total.

Of course, it's early days for retailers on social media sites, and we'd love to see more numbers on traffic and sales.

about 5 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

imeanwhat

Is anybody surprised that Patrick Robinson was let go from the GAP last week? What The Gap Needs Now Is Love, Sweet Love http://bit.ly/mLjUem

about 5 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Anthony

@Victoria
I saw a presentation yesterday (you've probably seen it!) that showed one of the fastest growing segments in Facebook users is 55 - 65 y/o females:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFZ0z5Fm-Ng&feature=player_embedded

It seems impressive that FB has more weekly traffic than Google. But, surely the Google (btw Google tends to be used more by younger professional people, often doing career-related searches, whereas Bing and Yahoo reach an older audience) traffic is targeted search traffic whereas FB is social 'activity', which if to be turned into brand 'engagement' will require considerable ongoing effort and expense.

I acknowledge that there are evolving changes in how people use the Web. However, I don't see FB fulfilling the search role that Google, Bing and Yahoo currently fullfil anytime soon? Am I wrong on this? Maybe?

I think the loss of control over marketing data that FB entails is going to be a big problem for many companies, as there are bound to be conflicts around access to the data, and who actually owns it! What's to stop FB setting up in competition with the retailers - think Amazon and publishers only potentially bigger!

I'll stop here - I've more to say, but getting too long-winded :(

about 5 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

James Hayhurst

What abous Superdry? They have over 200K followers last time I looked.

about 5 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Antoine Becaglia

Excellent I shall write something up about the French companies using same social network!

about 5 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Marc

@Everyone!
I am shocked after reading everyone's comments that there is so much confusion around Fcommerce. Come on! Yes, it's early days, but you have to think of the future wins here. This is the largest social networking platform alive. Brands that choose not to sell via Facebook are losing some market share, whether it's 1% or 10%, who knows. Jump on the wagon or be left behind.

This article covers some intriguing stats that are very useful to know. There must be a bunch of companies out there that just missed the top ten lists above, but those that did deserve recognition.

My response is over a week late here!

Great work Graham :)

about 5 years ago

Comment
No-profile-pic
Save or Cancel
Daily_pulse_signup_wide

Enjoying this article?

Get more just like this, delivered to your inbox.

Keep up to date with the latest analysis, inspiration and learning from the Econsultancy blog with our free Daily Pulse newsletter. Each weekday, you ll receive a hand-picked digest of the latest and greatest articles, as well as snippets of new market data, best practice guides and trends research.