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Shoppers via Social Sites Buy Less Often, but Spend More


Although online shoppers who arrive at retail websites via Facebook and Twitter are less likely than those who arrive via search engines to make a purchase, they tend to spend more money when they do buy, according to research from RichRelevance.

Shoppers who click to retail sites via Facebook convert 1.2% of the time on average, while those who arrive via Twitter convert 0.5% of the time. By contrast, conversion rates are higher for major search engines such as Google (1.9%), Bing (2.4%), and AOL (2.9%).

Among all online shoppers, however, those who arrive at retail sites via Twitter have the highest average order value ($121.33), whereas those who arrive via Google spend roughly 20% less ($100.16).

Though traffic from both Twitter and Facebook to retail sites has grown dramatically in the last year, according to the study, those networks still account for a very small portion of total traffic (less than 1%).

Among social media platforms, Facebook is growing the most dramatically as a source of retail shopping traffic, growing its contribution some 92% between August 2010 and August 2011.

Even so, Google accounts for the bulk of all organic search traffic to these major retailers, with 81% arriving via the search engine. Yahoo and Bing (including account for 9.7% and 7.5% of traffic, respectively, while AOL accounts for just 1.7% of all organic search traffic.

AOL, however, has the highest conversion rate, slightly edging out Yahoo for highest average order value ($105.27).

Looking for great digital marketing data? MarketingProfs reviewed hundreds of research sources to create our most recent Digital Marketing Factbook (May 2010), a 296-page compilation of data and 254 charts, covering email marketing, social media, search engine marketing, e-commerce, and mobile marketing. Also check out The State of Social Media Marketing, a 240-page original research report from MarketingProfs.

Other key findings, issued by RichRelevance:

  • Overall, organic search engine traffic remains a primary traffic source for mass merchants, driving 18% of all traffic in August 2011.
  • Online conversion rates have remained relatively unchanged over the past year, reaching 2.13% in August 2011, up less than one percentage point from 2.1% in August 2010.
  • Overall online average order value has dropped from $128.27 in August 2010, to $116.58 in August 2011. That decline may be attributed to several factors, including increased cost consciousness and increased shipping efficiencies that encourage smaller purchases, according to the study.

About the data: Findings are derived from the analysis of customer viewing and shopping behavior of selected major US online retail sites in August 2011. During the one-year study period, such sites hosted more than 200 million shopping sessions, resulting in over four million orders for a total value exceeding US$500 million.

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  • by Nick Stamoulis Fri Sep 23, 2011 via web

    I think a contributing factor might be brand loyalty. People who are connected with their favorite brands on social networks are already inclined to make a purchase. You don't accidentally end up shopping if you choose to enter through a Facebook page, you made a conscious decision to shop with that brand and not whatever you found in the search results.

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