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Where Do Your Ecommerce Shoppers Come From? It May Not Be Where You Think

September 7th, 2012 ::

By Rieva Lesonsky

Are you spending a lot of time on social media hoping to attract more shoppers to your ecommerce site? That’s great. Just realize that search engine optimization and email marketing are what really drive shoppers to buy online, according to the EQ2 2012 report published by Monetate and reported on CNet.

Although Monetate found that the amount of traffic social media drives to ecommerce sites grew 77 percent this year compared to last, it also found that very few of those users actually make a purchase once they reach your site. And despite the high growth rate, the percentage of users who visit a site after hearing about it was very low—just 2.85 percent.

Of all the social networks, Facebook was the most successful at driving traffic to online shopping sites, but almost 50 percent of those who went to a site left without clicking another page. Even among those who did stay on sites longer, fewer than 0.5 percent bought anything. In comparison, Google’s conversion rate (the percentage of users who make a purchase after being driven to a site) was 2.44 percent. The big winner? Email, with a conversion rate of 4.25 percent.

Other findings from the survey:

  • The use of mobile devices to shop online has risen from 5.89 percent to 11.6 percent, and this growth will continue.
  • Users are more likely to browse on smartphones, but rarely buy that way—for purchases, they turn to tablets or desktops.
  • Conversion rates for iPad, Kindle Fire and Android tablet users are about the same. However, Android smartphone users have a higher conversion rate than iPhone users.
  • What browser’s hot? Google Chrome—its share of market grew from 10.89 percent last year to 17.15 percent. Not so hot? Internet Explorer’s market share declined from 49.37 percent to 37.5 percent in the same time period.

What do these results mean to you? Don’t abandon social media; its influence will likely continue to grow. But for now, realize that search and email still rule the roost when it comes to converting online browsers to buyers—and focus your efforts (and budget) there.

Image by Flickr user Search Engine People Blog (Creative Commons)

The views expressed here are the author's alone and not those of Network Solutions or its partners.

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Posted in Marketing, Search Marketing, Small Business, small business, Technology, Web Design | 1 Comment »

  • http://freetraffictip.com Tinu

    Social media may not bring sales directly – by and large it’s the wrong medium for that. However, if it can encourage subscriptions that you can then convert to sales, or help increase the links you get, that supports your efforts in search, it can be useful. It’s when these methods are used in isolation that they fail.