Archive > June 2013

The Rise Of Social Commerce: How Tweets, Pins And Likes Can Turn Into Sales

admin » 21 June 2013 » In Social Media » No Comments

Overall usage on social media platforms is exploding. Millions and millions of consumers are expressing likes on Facebook, tweeting about products on Twitter, and pinning on Pinterest every single day.

Retailers and brands are therefore increasingly focusing their attention on social commerce.

But, many struggle with the question: how do you convert a “like,” a “tweet,” or “pin” into a sale?

social-commerce-revenue-share-1

In a new report from BI Intelligence, we look at successful examples of businesses and business models for generating commerce via social media-based strategies, analyze Pinterest’s success as a social commerce platform, look at Facebook’s potential as a social commerce contender, and examine the e-commerce conversion and order value gap.

Here’s an overview of the converging trends that promise to transform social media into a viable commerce platform:

The rise of mobile: The rise of mobile, which means shoppers can price-compare and solicit advice from friends wherever they are. Overall, mobile accounts for just under 40% of time spent on social media. Facebook has passed the 50% mobile usage mark and Pinterest is at 48%. Together, they combine for over 56% of social generated e-commerce at the moment, according to social commerce platform, Addshoppers. Given the continued growth of mobile devices, it will only rise. Brands’ desire for guaranteed attention in the medium, coupled with this explosion, helps to explain social media’s move away from traditional display ads – like Facebook’s right-rail ads – and into the realm of social commerce.

The rise of the visual Web: Sites like Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram, and Wanelo are becoming repositories for shopping ideas, fashion tips, and wish lists — in essence user-generated catalogs. For example, in a recent survey by Zmags (a mobile catalog company), 63% of online shoppers said they plan to use online catalogs. And 35% said they plan to use Pinterest to make purchases.

Demographics: Today’s mobile-savvy consumers in their teens and early twenties are accustomed to shopping online and tend to see their smartphones and tablets as their main computing device, and an important shopping tool. Pinterest’s average user is between the ages of 30 and 49, which is an age bracket with considerable disposable income. Also, Pinterest users tend to be women (anywhere from 80 to 85% of its user base is female). Marketers know that it is women who usually control the purse strings for household purchases related to clothes, home decoration, and gifts — three strong areas for Pinterest.

Significant challenges remain: Social commerce — whatever the model — needs to better reflect the fundamental rule of e-commerce, which Amazon has always championed: Consumers will click to buy when it’s relatively effortless. That’s even more true of a casual shopper who ends up on a retailer’s site because of a social recommendation. That intent to buy is fragile and can quickly evaporate. Currently, social commerce strategies involve too many intermediate steps before a user ends up in front of the crucial “buy” button.

Read more

Continue reading...

Tags: ,

Could Statins Raise Diabetes Risk?

admin » 11 June 2013 » In FDA, Legal News, Mass Tort » 1 Comment

Some popular brands associated with high blood sugar levels in study, but odds of problems are low

Certain statins — the widely used cholesterol-lowering drugs — may increase your chances of developing type 2 diabetes, a new study suggests.

The risk was greatest for patients taking atorvastatin (brand name Lipitor), rosuvastatin (Crestor) and simvastatin (Zocor), the study said.

Focusing on almost 500,000 Ontario residents, researchers in Canada found that the overall odds of developing diabetes were low in patients prescribed statins. Still, people taking Lipitor had a 22 percent higher risk of new-onset diabetes, Crestor users had an 18 percent increased risk and people taking Zocor had a 10 percent increased risk, relative to those taking pravastatin (Pravachol), which appears to have a favorable effect on diabetes.

Physicians should weigh the risks and benefits when prescribing these medications, the researchers said in the study, which was published online May 23 in the journal BMJ.

This does not, however, mean that patients should stop taking their statins, the experts said. The study also showed only an association between statin use and higher risk of diabetes; it did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship.

“While this is an important study evaluating the relationship between statins and the risk of diabetes, the study has several flaws that make it difficult to generalize the results,” said Dr. Dara Cohen, a professor of medicine in the department of endocrinology, diabetes and bone disease at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City. “There was no data regarding weight, ethnicity and family history — all important risk factors for the development of diabetes.”

Cohen added that there was no information on the patients’ cholesterol and blood sugar levels, and that higher-risk patients might automatically be prescribed stronger statins such as Lipitor, Crestor and Zocor.

Finnish doctors wrote in an accompanying editorial that this potential risk should not stop people from taking statins.

“The overall benefit of statins still clearly outweighs the potential risk of incident diabetes,” researchers from the University of Turku said. Statins have been proven to reduce heart problems, they said, adding that the medications “play an important role in treatment.”

Other statins did perform more favorably than Lipitor, Crestor and Zocor in terms of diabetes, the research found.

“Preferential use of pravastatin and potentially fluvastatin … may be warranted,” the study authors said in a journal news release, adding that Pravachol may even be beneficial to patients at high risk of diabetes. Fluvastatin (Lescol) was associated with a 5 percent decreased risk of diabetes and lovastatin (Mevacor) a 1 percent decreased risk.

In previous research, Crestor was associated with a 27 percent higher risk of diabetes, while Pravachol was linked to a 30 percent lower risk.

For this study, the researchers used patient information from three Canadian databases on 66-year-old men and women who were newly prescribed statins and followed for up to five years. Lipitor accounted for more than half of all new statin prescriptions, followed by Crestor, Zocor, Pravachol, Mevacor and Lescol.

The researchers said between 162 and 407 patients would have to be taking statins of various kinds for one extra patient to develop diabetes.

Results were similar for patients already diagnosed with heart disease and those taking statins to prevent it. Older patients using Lipitor and Zocor were at an increased risk regardless of dose, the researchers found.

People with type 2 diabetes have higher than normal blood sugar levels because their bodies don’t make or properly use insulin. The researchers said it is possible that certain statins impair insulin secretion and inhibit insulin release, which could help explain the findings.

Source

Continue reading...

Tags: ,