Ireland’s top e-commerce sites flunk at social media

1 Jun 2011

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Tesco, Ryanair and UPC are among the companies at the bottom of a survey of social features on e-commerce websites, while Amazon and HMV emerged as Ireland’s most sociable sites.

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 e-commerce 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.

The sites were scored against 10 separate 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.

"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 e-commerce sites."

Key findings:

·         20pc of Irish e-commerce, including Ryanair, Tesco and UPC, had no social media features at all

·         Amazon.co.uk scored best, at 9 out of 10

·         A further 42pc received low scores ( 1, 2 or 3 out of 10)

·         No site received 10 out of 10

·         Best Irish e-commerce site was Elverys, which received 6 out of 10

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Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com