Ecommerce and social media are two great tastes that (so far do not taste great together, according to U.S. consumers. That’s the conclusion of a survey by Custora, which looked at orders to
retail Web sites in the first quarter of the year to determine where the orders originated.
Overall, Custora found that just 1% of orders to retail Web sites originated from social
media in the first quarter of 2014. That’s actually down from 2% in the first quarter of 2013. In the first quarter of 2014, much larger proportions originated from organic search, 24%, the same
as last year.
Direct visits to the Web sites are down from 23% last year; search marketing/cost per click advertising, at 20%, up from 17% last year; and email, at 18% up from 17% last
year. Affiliate marketing clocked in with a modest 8%, down from 9%, and display advertising was swimming around the bottom of the barrel with social at 1%, the same as last year.
Separately, 43% of retailers surveyed said that among visitors who arrived at their sites via social media, less than 1% spent any money during their visit.
These findings are
broadly in line with previous survey results showing that social media’s contributions to ecommerce are still negligible. In December 2013, IBM analyzed sales from Black Friday and found that,
while ecommerce sales rose 19.7% on Thanksgiving Day and 18.9% the following day compared to the year before, online sales from social sites contributed just 1% of total traffic to e-commerce
According to IBM, traffic from different social sites generated different sales figures, with shoppers referred from Pinterest spending 77% more than shoppers referred from
Facebook ($92.51 versus $52.30). However, Facebook referrals converted to sales at nearly four times the rate as Pinterest referrals.
Adobe’s Social Media Intelligence Report
covering the fourth quarter of 2013, covering the fourth quarter of 2013, noted that the value of ecommerce referrals from social media is increasing -- but remains fairly small. Per Adobe, between
the fourth quarter of 2012 and the fourth quarter of 2013, the average amount of revenue generated by visitors referred to retail sites from social-media sites increased from $0.25 per visit to $1.10
for Tumblr, a 340% increase; from $0.27 to $0.93 for Pinterest, a 244% increase; from $0.35 to $0.83 for Twitter, a 137% increase; and from $0.71 to $1.22 for Facebook, a 72% increase.