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Social Media Driving Traffic to Retail Sites

2 Apr, 2014 By: Doug McPherson

NEW YORK – should be extra thankful for social media. A new report from Experian Research Services says social media is driving traffic to it and other retail websites – and even other social networking sites – at the expense of search engines and portal websites.

After visiting Facebook, YouTube or Pinterest, consumers visit Amazon more frequently than any other retailer website.

The report says social media sites now account for 7.72 percent of all traffic to retail websites, up from 6.59 percent in March 2013. The top driver is Pinterest, beating Facebook and YouTube in supplying the greatest percentage of traffic to retail sites.

Bill Tancer, general manager of global research for Experian Marketing Services, says Amazon is clearly benefitting from the social media trend. “While search still dominates, social media is becoming a significant source of traffic across the Internet as consumers increasingly use sites like Facebook, Pinterest or YouTube more as discovery platforms,” he says.

He adds that many of today’s marketers are leveraging the power of social communities to increase customer engagement and expand their brand’s reach.

“For retailers, all eyes are on Pinterest,” Tancer says.

Experian’s report, “2014 Digital Marketer: Benchmark and Trend Report,” says more retailers are directing their customers to social media via E-mail campaigns. A full 96 percent of marketers now promote social media in their E-mails – and in 2013, Pinterest had the greatest year-over-year increase. Pinterest is now being promoted by 64 percent of brands within E-mails.

Tancer says social media continues to grow as an influential source of traffic for retail sites, and it’s important that marketers understand what is driving customers to their web pages.

The top five retail sites downstream from Facebook are Amazon, Walmart, Zulily, Target and Beyond the Rack. The top five retail sites downstream from YouTube are Amazon, Walmart, GameStop, Crutchfield and Target. And the top five retail sites downstream from Pinterest are Amazon, Target, Zulily, Walmart and Nordstrom.

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