Optimizing social shopping traffic to your retail site

Diane KegleyThis week, RichRelevance Shopping Insights™ released an infographic with some keen insights into which social networks drive retail traffic.

Perhaps least surprising was the finding that Facebook dominates as a source of traffic. Shoppers who click through from Facebook account for the overwhelming majority of shopping sessions and also browse more and buy more often. The transactional, sticky nature of Facebook means that shoppers may already be in the mindset of browsing and buying when they click on to a retail site. But while shoppers who come to retail sites from Facebook and Twitter purchase more often, Pinterest users spend dramatically more than either ($168.83 average order value vs. $94.70 for Facebook and $70.84 for Twitter)—nearly double that of other social channels.

Clearly, people use social networks differently to shop and buy, but each one presents a unique way of connecting consumers with retailers and brands. As retailers continue to tap into this burgeoning area of consumer demand and explore how to respond to and leverage social networks, insights like these help highlight the nuances of each channel, how they resonate with consumers, and how marketers can take advantage of each in their own unique way.

For example, why do Pinterest users have a lower conversion rate than other channels, yet deliver the highest AOV, and what can retailers do about it? Consider what Pinterest shoppers are buying when they come on to your site. As they click to your site, how can you carry over the highly visual and engaging customer experience from Pinterest to encourage and drive that customer to purchase? There’s an opportunity for retailers to identify those product categories that perform well with specific social networks, and create an engaging user experience, perhaps by modifying the UI and landing page design.

Capturing the eyeballs and mindshare behind socially driven traffic has broad implications for offline sales and ultimately, the omni-channel consumer. In a recent New Yorker article, CEO of Saks, Steve Sadove shared that customers who shop online as well as in the store buy four times as much merchandise as customers who shop only in store. So optimizing all channels—by harnessing those social networks that drive the most traffic, session views and AOV for you—can go a long way toward building lifetime value of your all-important omni-channel consumer.

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This post was written by Diane Kegley

ABOUT Diane Kegley
As Chief Marketing Officer, Diane is responsible for driving global demand and visibility for RichRelevance’s personalization and brand advertising opportunities – including corporate marketing, public relations, analyst relations, brand strategy, client marketing, advertising and business development. Diane has spent the last 20 years leading multichannel marketing, media and branding initiatives for companies like American Express, AOL, CNET, American Airlines, HP, Lockheed Martin, and Sprint. To view Diane's full profile, click here.
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