Social media is the fastest-growing source of traffic to online retail sites–but visitors from Facebook or Twitter have a lower conversion rate than those arriving on a shopping site via a search engine, according to a new study released by e-commerce personalization engine RichRelevance. The company analyzed more than 200 million August 2011 shopping sessions on major US retailing sites to understand trends in online shopping behavior, and found that Facebook traffic to online retailers increased 92% from August 2010 to August 2011.
The lower conversion rate from social media makes sense: visitors arriving via a search engine are engaging in active shopping behavior, while those arriving from a social network are sharing information with friends. That said, the serendipitous social visitor spends far more. Both Facebook- and Twitter-originating online shoppers spend more per order than shoppers who come from Google. In fact, shoppers from Twitter had the highest average order value ($121.33) of all shoppers.
The average visitor to online shopping sites had a 2.1% conversion rate. Here’s how the conversion rates and average order values compare across all of the search engines and social media channels studied:
What do you think? Is impulse buying the explanation for why Twitter shoppers spend more — while Google shoppers are more likely to be doing comparison shopping? Or is there another explanation? And does the higher order value of the Twitter and Facebook shopper make them attractive target, in spite of the lower volume?
New data from Outbrain shows that 11% of external referrals are from social media sites, lagging significantly behind the 41% of referrals that come from search and nearly 33% from other content sites, as reported by eMarketer.
According to the study, referrals from social sites are mainly for news (42%) and entertainment (30%) stories. However, Outbrain acknowledges that “Results may be skewed towards news and entertainment sites, as they constitute more than 50% of the publishers” working with the company and included in the survey.
Those referred via social media were less engaged than those from search or other content sites, with fewer page views per session and a higher bounce rate.
Social media referrals were also less than half as likely to be “hyperengaged” (viewing at least five pages per session) as referrals from content sites or search.
Hitwise has released its analysis of the most-visited web sites and most popular search terms for 2010.
Facebook has moved from the third spot in 2009 to the top most-visited web site in 2010, accounting for 8.93% of all U.S. visits between January and November 2010. Google.com ranked second with 7.19% of visits, followed by Yahoo! Mail (3.52%), Yahoo! (3.30%) and YouTube (2.65%). Continue reading
According to Comscore, Facebook accounts for 6% of primary homepages in the U.S. in the third quarter of 2010. ComScore was unable to provide similar data for other Web sites, but Google is widely believed to be among the most popular homepage options on the Web. Continue reading
Facebook has updated its official company Statistics page, and Inside Facebook has posted an analysis of how the changes compare to the June and February updates.
The changes indicate that the level of activity and engagement of Facebook users continues to grow: Continue reading
New data from comScore shows that, for the first time, U.S. internet users spent more time on Facebook this August–a total of 41.1 billion minutes–than on any other major site. Google was second with 39.8 billion minutes and Yahoo fell to third, with 37.7 billion.
In terms of traffic, Yahoo edged out Google in August to become the top site, with 179 million unique visitors. Google had 178.8 million, followed by Microsoft with 165.3 million. Facebook remained the fourth-ranked site, at 148 million, up from 145.5 million in July. Continue reading
According to figures from Experian Hitwise, in May 2010 social networks accounted for 11.88% of all internet traffic in the UK, topping total search engine hits (including Google, Yahoo, Bing, and others), which accounted for only 11.33% of internet traffic. As reported on Mediapost, in the past UK online behaviors have foreshadowed or mirrored similar changes in the US, so it’s not surprising that Facebook passed Google in terms of Web site hits in the U.S., with the social net taking 7.07% of Web traffic versus 7.03% for the search engine during the week ending March 13. Continue reading
Twitter COO Dick Costolo announced that Twitter now has 190 million users, who are sending out 65 million tweets each day. The remarks were made at the June 7 Conversational Media Summit, and reported by TechCrunch. Twitter reported in April that it had 180 million unique visitors, while it said in February that users were sending 50 million tweets per day.
The number of unique users in Japan surged from 521,000 in April 2009 to 7.52 million in March, a 15-fold increase, according to the technology ratings service Nielsen Online Japan, as quoted in this New York Times article.
Twitter is catching up to Japan’s biggest social networking site, Mixi, which had about 10.8 million unique users in March. A February analysis by Semiocast found 14% of all tweets per day worldwide are in Japanese.