Interesting analysis by SeeWhy Software looking at 60,000 completed ecommerce transactions across multiple ecommerce sites in the first few months of this year. Note this is TRANSACTIONS, not visits, so this looks at the visits to a site that led to the site taking money.
When they analysed the sources of traffic to the shopping cart, they found that by far the biggest source of referrals was email. (Remember, that thing that is dead?).
Over 50% of the traffic to shopping carts was from email. Social media drove just 4%.
Even more starkly, when it came to actual conversion of visits to a shopping cart to actual revenue, email actually accounts for a total of over 2/3 of the traffic.
Social media drove just 2% of the volume of transactions.
In a world where the new kids on the block seem to believe that email is totally dead, and social is the future, this is some interesting data that might just make people think.
Of course, that doesn’t mean social media or other forms of promotion and engagement are not relevant, but it does mean you need to think hard about what you use it for. ecommerce businesses know that the bulk of their revenue and profits come from the people they know which is why so much time and effort is spent understanding customers, building up mailing lists, newsletters and the like that they can use to put the right offer in front of the right people at the right time.