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E-COMMERCE

Nearly 10% of online shopping traffic now comes from social media

By our News Team | 2021

Social media is becoming an increasingly important source of customers for online sellers, a recent international study finds.

In Q2 2021, 8.9% of visits to digital commerce sites came from social media, up from 6.6% in Q3 2019. Social media’s importance is even higher for digital commerce traffic on tablets and mobile devices, taking a double-digit share of traffic.

Social media is becoming an increasingly important source of customers for online sellers, according to worldwide data from the Salesforce Shopping Index.

The way we shop has changed. We’re no longer limited to store browsing or online shopping; we can click through from a brand’s Instagram page and easily purchase that shirt featured in a post. 

Social media boosts online sales

Photo by Cardmapr at Unsplash

The share of visits to digital commerce sites that came from a social media platform has risen steadily over the past two years, and this share is likely to rise further when including the role of ‘dark’ social platforms.

Dark social and invisible shares

Dark social describes the ‘invisible’ shares that happen through channels such as messengers, but also email and text messages. If you go to a newspaper, pick any article and send the URL via Facebook Messenger to one of your friends, you’ve shared it via dark social. For that newspaper, the share will come up as ‘direct’, even though you didn’t type the whole link into your browser. This makes dark social a form of referral traffic that is attributed to the wrong channel.

The share of visits to digital commerce sites which came from a social media platform is even higher for mobile and tablet traffic. For visits to digital commerce sites on a tablet device, 16.0% came from a social media platform. This is more than double the Q3 2019 level. For mobile devices, 11.6% of traffic was from social media, according to the study.

Brands are also recognising this opportunity, with influencers and livestream content being popular ways to attract audiences to e-commerce sites.

However, the cost of social media and e-commerce advertising is rising quickly and this could be a challenge for advertisers selling online. As marketers invest more, it will also be vital to rethink the role of brand in digital commerce.

Source: Salesforce Shopping Index, WARC Data

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