Social influences shopping trends

3 November 2014

SAN FRANCISCO: Social recommendations now account for 2% of all ecommerce traffic and 1% of all revenue on the MarketLive ecommerce platform, the company has revealed.

Based on year-over-year data drawn from its customers' traffic and conversion rates in Q3 2014, MarketLive also said ecommerce traffic from smartphones increased 62% while revenue from smartphones grew an impressive 141%.

Although social recommendations drove only a small proportion of traffic and revenue – by comparison, email drove 13% and 15% respectively – MarketLive said it was an important shift in how shoppers are influenced.

Furthermore, the strong performance of mobile meant retailers had to recognise that a strong mobile strategy is now "critical", it warned.

"We've been watching social recommendations for some time, waiting for it to register a significant contribution to revenues at the cash register," said Ken Burke, CEO of MarketLive. "We're finally seeing a small, but tangible, signal now in our Q3 Performance Index."

Commenting on the influence of mobile, he said: "The strong performance in mobile is something we've been expecting, as mobile commerce has been growing dramatically for several quarters already.

"At this point, it should send a cautionary note to all merchants that a strong mobile strategy is no longer optional, but rather a necessary and critical component for brick-and-mortar and online retailers alike."

Another trend identified in the report is that mobile is leading to lower conversion rates and shorter time-on-site because consumers have taken to researching products via their device before completing their purchases at a later date.

Smartphones, for example, drove 28% of traffic to ecommerce sites but only 11% of revenue, while tablets accounted for 15% and 13% respectively.

These were relatively low rates in comparison with PCs which generated 57% of traffic and 76% of revenues, Marketing Land reported.

Overall traffic across all MarketLive customers increased 9.7% since the same period last year while revenues grew by 3.8%.

There was an overall 2% decline in conversions since last year, while abandoned cart and abandoned checkout rates increased 2.8% and 6.7% respectively.

Data sourced from MarketLive, Marketing Land; additional content by Warc staff