With Black Friday breaking records for Ecommerce sales, and discounts and deals from online retailers becoming trending topics, many would think that a large percent of sales originated from social media outlets. According to a recent study by IBM, the reality is quite the opposite.
IBM collected data from about 800 online retailers and found the numbers to be altogether disappointing. The study showed that only 1% of visitors on internet retailer websites were referred by social media websites. This number is quite surprising given that “Amazon”, “Walmart” and “Black Friday” were some of the top trending topics this year, according to Adobe’s Digital Index 2013 online shopping data report.
IBM did not release any sales numbers, but did compare this year’s findings to last year’s 0.34% of Black Friday sales originating from social media websites.
“We’ve seen the percentage of online traffic and online sales driven by social media relatively constant — low-single-digit growth this year — so we haven’t been releasing these metrics in our benchmark numbers,” an IBM spokeswoman added on the report.
IBM calculated the numbers by last-click referrals, showing the number of visitors that reached the retailers directly from links posted on social websites. The study does not represent the exposure that customers are getting from social media sites to certain deals or sales, but shows how many of them actually enter the merchant’s website through the promotions.
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“I don’t think the implication is that social isn’t important, but so far it hasn’t proven effective in driving traffic to the site or directly causing people to convert,” Jay Henderson, strategy director for IBM, added on its discoveries.
With online retailers, as with most businesses, fan and business pages are an important part of online marketing strategies. A great amount of money is spent each year in promoting stores and businesses through social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
Spokespeople from Facebook and Pinterest have declined to comment on the report, while Twitter has yet to respond.
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