by Mila Camilleri, Client Social Media Partner

I recently attended the Social Media and Trends in Online Retail seminar organised by The Malta Chamber of Commerce in collaboration with ICON and the Malta Communications Authority (MCA).

Here are some of the key notes we took from the event:

  • 81.9% of households in Malta have internet access
  • The use of mobile for internet is up by 131%
  • Millennials (20-30 year olds) spend 9+ hours online a day
    • 2-3 devices at one go
    • 150 second wait time before abandoning sites
  • Today’s currency is measured in attention: we can earn it, spend it and lose it.

Four Concepts to keep in mind

  1. Customer Journey – in order to truly understand what the customer is looking for, we need to establish a detailed description of the steps that our customer will take to purchase our product / service. The modern customer journey looks something like this: a decentralised, fragmented, non-linear and mobile-based journey that is made up of micro moments.
  2. Consumer Behaviour – whereas in recent years most interaction was found in store, during the buying phase, a new interaction peak has emerged, that is during the research done before purchasing.
  3. Brick & Mortar – the physical store concept is far from dead. It is still very relevant, but consumers want an experience to make it worth going in store, an experience that can’t be found in online shopping.
  4. Multi Device Realities
  • 90% use multiple screens sequentially to accomplish a task over time.
  • 98% move between devices in one day.
  • 86% start their customer journey on one channel but purchase on another.
  • 51% buy in store when there’s an offer.
  • Over the last four years, mobile usage has grown by 400%, in addition to PC use.

Consumers’ use of Social Media

  • 99% use at least one social media channel
    • Facebook 89%
    • YouTube 63%
    • LinkedIn 41%
    • TripAdvisor 37%
  • Instagram: 67% of Maltese users are under 21
  • Google+: A third more popular channel for 60+ year-olds
  • Pinterest: Majority of users are female
  • LinkedIn: 67% of users are male

Social Media vs Websites

  • 43% of consumers who solely use websites to purchase a product
  • 9% of consumers who solely use Facebook to purchase a product
  • 44% of consumers who use both mediums to purchase a product
  • Other: 4%

Most popular activity on social media with regards to brands

  • To book services
  • To get in touch with a brand representative for customer support
  • To keep up-to-date with the brand’s new product developments

Facebook competitions

The least popular activity on social media (when not executed in a smart way)

  • 45% never participate
  • 35% rarely participate
  • 17% participate sometimes
  • 3% participate often

Consumer Purchasing Behaviour

  • 81% refer to social media networks at least once when making a purchase.
  • 68% refer to social media at the research stage.
  • 56% of consumers are more likely to purchase if they follow the brand on social media.
  • 75% said they have more access to information if they follow the brand on social media.
  • The more time people spend on social media, the more influence it has on their purchases.

However, brands need to create good-quality, interesting & unique content to create micro-moments for their customers.

Social Media Advertising

76% said that they do look at adverts.

Power of Reviews

  • Consumers regard reviews as more credible than the company’s message.
  • Brands must capitalise on this by gaining brand ambassadors – real people to promote the brand.
  • Facebook’s algorithm update is also giving more importance to friends’ posts rather than brand posts on users’ walls.

Can we help you with your social media goals? Speak to us, we’d love to get to know your brand.