The ecommerce world is driven by user traffic. Digital marketing experts commonly refer to this website traffic as “organic” traffic, when users are clicking on the links of the stores that they wish to visit. Unsurprisingly, this organic traffic is quite natural in its aperture because over 60% of people research a product online before making a purchasing decision.
As far as the top influencing social media ecommerce statistics, as they relate to traffic being driven by a social site to an online store, Facebook leads the pack, followed by Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube and Reddit… in that exact order. Join us in this explorative blog as we take an in-depth look at the prevailing factors behind socially driven ecommerce conversions.
Online Sales Are Soaring
The ecommerce stratosphere experienced explosive growth in 2014, growing by over 17%. Experts have pegged that by the 2017, ecommerce will generate well over $370 billion per year in revenue (it topped $220 billion in 2014). The average shopper will drop between $1,500 and $2,000 online this year, with the average holiday shopper spending about $800-$900 in 2015.
A dominating force, Facebook shows the most powerful social media ecommerce statistics, sending a massive 60% of all ecommerce referrals for last year. By comparison, Twitter seems miniscule in proportion (and let’s keep in mind that Twitter only recently started featuring Add Cards and offering paid ads, even though its valuation is in the multibillion dollar arena). All said and done, ecommerce factors for approximately 8% of all retail sales.
Social Media is a Broad Influencer
Since social media can be connected to via desktop, laptop, tablet and smartphone, and since it’s so widely relied upon by users (the average Facebook user logs about 30 minutes per day of screen time), it’s easy to understand how social media ecommerce statistics play a strong role in the ecommerce world of the present day.
In fact, mobile sales are soaring, too, vastly influenced by the ease of access to social channels from mobile devices. Experts say that by 2017, mobile sales will account for 26% of all online sales. Already, mobile is on course to top desktop usage, thanks to newer and faster tablets, with nearly half of all searches being conducted from mobile devices in 2014.
A Majority of People Research Products Online
Online research is a trendsetter that is not giving way any time soon. Over 44% of all shoppers will start the process by using a major search engine, whether that’s from a mobile or standalone device. And over 60% of people research products online before they make a purchase. Some research products to find better deals locally, and other research products locally to find better deals online.
Take a look at this infographic that sheds some more light on these insane social media ecommerce statistics and trendsetters (courtesy Americommerce).
Shipping Cost is a Driving Factor in Conversions
Putting the social spectrum aside for a moment here, there are other factors that influence sales beyond the scope of the social channel that fed the organic traffic that converted. One of the most prominent issues that shoppers have with online stores is the cost of shipping. Shipping prices can affect as much as 80% of online sales, a discerning factor in whether or not a customer converts or abandons the shopping cart.
Over 80% of shoppers have made it clear – in countless recent studies – that they want shipping to be free or low cost. Over 73% of shoppers want to be offered an affordable shipping option. And even though the vast majority will use a standard economy ground rate for shipping, over 60% still want to be able to upgrade to expedited delivery.
So indeed, social media affects sales, but shipping prices help seal the deal.
The Returns Policy Shapes the Customer Experience
Customers read more than they used to. While they may not read all of the content that’s posted at your online store, you can be assured that they will read your returns policy more than 70% of the time. If you are not making returns hassle-free, you could stand to lose over 50% of your customers, who also may then, in-turn, make a negative recommendation online about you on social media.
But negative recommendations actually do more good than they do harm. When companies respond to them in a timely manner, they have the ability to reconnect with that customer and demonstrate to others that they care about each specific shopper. Social media enables a new wave of brand ambassadorship that wasn’t possible previously. One study that was conducted by Nielson found that 61% of users would share a positive recommendation while only 25% would punish a brand for a negative experience.
Interestingly enough, for online stores that have an effective returns management solution in place, customers are eight times likelier to recommend them to a friend. And yes, that recommendation can often be heralded by a simple sharing of a post to another’s profile or through a status update that’s posted on social media.
Social Media Ecommerce Statistics
Now that we have dug pretty deep into this metric, it’s time take an even closer look at some of the numbers on social media traffic referrals. Our partner, Shopify, one of the largest ecommerce platforms in the world, reviewed data from over 37 million social media visits that resulted in 529,000 orders. They compiled the following infographic that sheds some light on rather interesting social media ecommerce statistics.
Using Social Media to Drive Sales
Social media can be, as the above infographics demonstrate, a powerful, sales-driving tool for your online store. But it’s all about how you use it and what channels that you use to drive those sales. Certain stores sit in specific niches that may make some channels a more progressive, and realistic, approach than others.
For example, a company that is selling flower baskets and gift baskets will stand to see a greater conversion rate off a website like Pinterest or Instagram than they will from Facebook. But one should never discount the king of the hill, Facebook, because it still leads the pack for most online sales, most revenue and the majority of converting social media referrals.
But, Polyvore, Instagram and Pinterest still top Facebook for highest order value and social media traffic referrals, helping us better understand how image-driven marketing can work in the favor of an ecommerce store on some social channels better than it does on others; even though Facebook lets you upload pictures.
In parting, we leave you with this awesome infographic by Invesp.com. It details social media ecommerce statistics and trendsetters, and visually demonstrates how social channels can influence shopper decisions. Use the statistics gathered here to make key changes to your plan-of-action, so you can generate more sales in 2015 than ever before.