Consumers Favor Search For Holiday Shopping

From dedicated mobile apps to their own social networks, today’s consumers have no shortage of information resources. However, that doesn’t mean they’re giving up on search.
On the contrary, consumers are turning to search engines in record numbers this holiday season, according to new data from RichRelevance. One of every five shopping sessions (20%), on average, began with a search engine -- compared with 14% in 2011, reports RichRelevance, a provider of personalized recommendations for ecommerce sites.
“New ways of shopping have emerged that will continue to change the landscape for retailers,” acknowledges David Selinger, CEO of RichRelevance.
Indeed, shopping on tablets and mobile phones doubled this year to represent 15% of all traffic, while mobile activity peaked on Thanksgiving with traffic from mobile reaching 19%.
Separately, traffic from social sources is up 30% this holiday, but still accounts for less than .5% of all traffic to retail sites, the data finds. Traffic from Pinterest has doubled from this year to last, and now accounts for nearly 10% of all traffic from social sources.  
Facebook still dominates traffic, but has seen its share decrease to 90% -- versus 95% for holiday 2011 -- while Twitter is not a factor for retailers with less than 1% of share of traffic, RichRelevance reports.
The company's research was gleaned from more than 490 million shopping sessions across the Web.

Breaking out national ecommerce by region, RichRelevance found that the Southwest -- including Dallas, Oklahoma City -- saw the highest mobile traffic of all regions; while the West Coast -- including San Francisco, Seattle, and Portland -- buys the most expensive items.
The Great Lakes -- including Chicago, Milwaukee, and Cleveland -- had more online shoppers per capita than any other region. These shoppers also spent the most time on retail sites.
The Plains -- including Minneapolis, Des Moines, and Omaha -- saw the lowest average order value among all regions, as well as the lowest mobile usage.

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