Social media is viewed by many as a communication tool to enhance the brand rather than to sell the brand. It is used as an engagement tool rather than a selling tool. Social media can and does sell the brand. But which is doing what in sales?
Shoppers who arrive at online retail sites by way of Pinterest spend $168.83 on average, compared to $94.70 for Facebook and $70.84 for Twitter, according to a study released in September 2012 by RichRelevance. The report is based on data from more than 689 million shopping sessions from January 1 to August 31, 2012.
Regardless of anyone’s previous opinion, 689 million shopping sessions is a lot. In the world of business, you can’t argue the results from a sample that large. Social media now has a track record to reference.
The report finds that Pinterest trailed Facebook in average revenue per referral session ($1.60 vs. $2.50) during that time period, but Pinterest has rivaled or exceeded Facebook in the past 3 months on this measure. Shoppers referred from both social networks are ahead of shoppers arriving from Twitter, whose average revenue-per-session was $0.80 during the time period.
Some of you may be saying: “Wait! I just read a study in Forbes that said Facebook is the place to be. What gives?” These findings from the RichRelevance report appears to contrast with data released in July 2012 by Jirafe, as reported by Forbes. According to that study, which examined the behavior of 89 million online shoppers who visited Jirafe’s clients’ 5,000 online stores in the past year, average order value (AOV) for traffic from Twitter and Facebook was far higher than for Pinterest traffic. In fact, traffic from Twitter (5.3x), Google (3.45x), Facebook (2.5x), and Bing (2.1x) all had AOV’s more than twice as large as traffic from Pinterest. This may be an apples and oranges situation. Jirafe was from a July study. RichRelevance was from January through August 2012.
Methodological differences may explain the discrepancies. The Forbes article noted that Jirafe serves only a few of the top 500 online retailers, such that Pinterest data for these larger sites may be more positive. The RichRelevance data is also based on its client base – select US sites that have deployed its retail recommendation software. That study also includes only browser-based shopping sessions and does not include shopping that may originate from mobile application versions of the platforms. It is unclear how such sessions were treated by the Jirafe study.
It is also worth noting that the AOV’s for all 3 networks covered by the RichRelevance study are higher than the Q2 AOV for all social network referrals, according to a study from Monetate that looked at 100 million online shopping experiences. That study found social shoppers’ AOV in Q2 to be $64.19, slightly higher than in Q1.
The point to remember is this: a bigger study with the most current information can give you the edge.
We really do live in a new DNAge. The more you know, the better you will be able to engage with your target audience.
In planning your marketing communications plan…Think MOBILEFirst.
Lance Hanish is Co-Founding Partner in CNA | Sophis Integrated Marketing Communications.
He can be reached at:
On Google+ Lance Hanish
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Lance Hanish; Lance Hanish http://pinterest.com/sophis1234/
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