Social networks lag behind search and email in e-commerce

4.25% of referral traffic from email results in a purchase

Social networks like Facebook and Twitter are lagging behind search and email regarding driving users to e-commerce sites with making a purchase, according to new research from online marketing technology company, Monetate. The report analysed more than 100 million online shopping experiences from across the globe. and found that in the second quarter email was the leader in converting visiting to customers with 4.25% of referral traffic resulting in a purchase. Search had a conversion rate of 2.49%, and social stood at just 0.59%. Visitors from social networks make purchases of a lower average value, and are responsible for USD 64.19 worth of goods compared to USD 82.72 for email and USD 90.4 for search.

“Conversion rates from social networks remain dramatically lower than search and email,” says the report. “Shoppers from social networks are not big spenders.”

Social’s impact of e-commerce is on the up however, with traffic in Q2 increasing 77% YOY, suggesting that online retailers should utilise their visitors from social media sites. Monetate recommends that retailers boost conversions by allowing users to log in using their social media login details, rather than making them sign up for the site. This would provide merchants with more information on customers including age, gender and interests.

The study also looks at the shopping habits of Apple and Google smartphone owners. The market share of Android devices is on the increase, now accounting for 3.31% of total traffic in Q2, up from 1.76% in 2011. Apple leads, accounting for 5.41% of traffic, but Google leads in terms of conversions at 1.26%, ahead of Apple by 1%. iPad accounts for 88.31% of tablet traffic with 3.19% converting whereas the figure for Android tablets stands at 3.58%. Both smartphones and tablets are now accounting for increasing traffic, making it more crucial than ever for retailers to make sure they have websites that work on mobile devices.

“Whether on iPad or Android device, consumers are shopping more on tablets and represent one of the fastest-growing consumer segments,” says Monetate.


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