Sears, Walmart most popular sites on Facebook during 2014 holidays

Sears (NYSE:SHLD) was the most popular U.S. department store website and Walmart (NYSE:WMT) was the most popular mass merchant store website on Facebook during the 2014 holiday season.

Searchmetrics studied the number of weekly Facebook likes, comments and shares for nine U.S. department stores during November and December, and found that Sears topped the list with over 12 million links—which include likes, comments and shares—from its Web pages per week. Next most popular was Kohl's (NYSE:KSS), with more than 5 million Facebook links per week.

Looking at mass merchant stores, Walmart was the most popular on Facebook, with more than 40 million links per week for its Web pages during the two months.

"It makes sense retailers are trying to generate social activity and mentions on Facebook as growing evidence shows that consumers are using social media as a key discovery tool for finding information online," said Marcus Tober, CTO and founder of Searchmetrics. "And of course it is a powerful recommendation if consumers see likes, shares and positive comments about a retailer or its products from their own Facebook friends."

Other department stores that were in the top five for most Facebook links included Macy's (NYSE:M), more than 2 million; Nordstrom (NYSE:JWN), over 1.5 million; and JCPenney (NYSE:JCP), almost 400,000.

The other mass merchants behind Walmart included Target (NYSE:TGT), with more than 16.5 million links, and Costco, with more than 5 million.

Facebook and other social networks are increasingly influencing shopper purchasing decisions. They are also important channels for retailers when it comes to customer service touchpoints. Savvy retailers are getting wise to using social media to connect with customers in some very practical ways. Businesses are adding positions to monitor their own social media accounts to answer questions, deal with issues and mediate problems.

Social media channels are also beginning to serve as commerce platforms. For example, Shoppost, a platform for social commerce, is now available for retailers selling on the Amazon Webstore. Created by Zantler, Shoppost allows retailers to sell their products in-stream on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and blogs in a post that looks like an e-commerce storefront, and will connect customers directly to the checkout process.

For more:
-See this Searchmetrics press release

Related stories:
Social media for customer service is a must for retailers
Target opens last three Canadian stores of 2014
Target fires head of Canadian operations 
Sears continues downward spiral, closing 80 more stores
Sears Canada to cut 1,600 jobs as it outsources, restructures

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