Google+ is becoming an increasingly important tool for companies selling products online and using parcel delivery services, a new study suggests.
The latest Social Media Benchmark results from eDigitalResearch show retailer use of the social networking and identity service has developed considerably in recent months.
High-end fashion brand All Saints has claimed the top spot in the Google+ league table, adding more than 600,000 new followers to its account since April 2012.
Commenting on the trend, eDigitalResearch pointed out that retailers have now been using Facebook and Twitter as platforms for marketing, communication and customer engagement for some time.
The emergence of newer social media environments such as Google+ is adding some diversity, with companies beginning to branch out in their efforts and strategies to capture a larger share of the online audience.
Another finding in the latest eDigitalResearch study suggests that retail brands are returning their focus to consumer engagement by offering innovative, interactive features such as inbuilt games rather than sales and Facebook stores.
Some big names from the fashion world, including ASOS, have recently abandoned Facebook as a commerce channel.
Derek Eccleston of eDigitalResearch said social media can be a valuable tool for retailers and brands alike, often serving as the first step towards creating a dedicated community of customers who can provide feedback.
He added: "Our own consumer behaviour studies in recent months have shown that it has become increasingly clear that the majority of consumers don't want to make a purchase through their Facebook account, and would rather visit a retailer's website direct.
"Therefore, retailers need to refocus their efforts on working to engage users and create a community of advocates for a brand."
Over the past two years, the Social Media Benchmark report has found that companies that invested in online social media channels earliest consistently dominate the league tables.
Author: Adrian Medland