socialsalesTraffic from social networks provides more and more revenue for online merchants. However, in times of declining organic reach, that has its price, as recent data from Internet Retailer shows. According to their research, social media plays an increasingly important role in eCommerce, although the organic coverage of posts decreases. After all, customers spend more time on the networks; hence, the focus of online dealers shifts accordingly.

The fact that the social media strategies have changed is because social media platforms are increasingly pushing their advertising revenues while scoring with their targeting possibilities. Therefore, the total number of Facebook “Likes” of the top 500 dealers rose by 33% to over 915 million and the Twitter-followers increased, according to Internet Retailer, by 26% to over 88 million. For Pinterest, the number of followers is around 35 million by now and gained 16%.

As a result, an increasing number of traffic comes from social networks.In 2013, the average percentage has been 5.36%, and increased last year to 5.77%. The purchases conducted by those customers rose by more than a quarter from 2.62 billion dollars in 2013 to 3.3 billion last year. The value is therefore higher than the growth of the entire eCommerce market.

However, as said, since the organic reach gets smaller, the traffic comes at a price. Accordingly, the ad budget for Facebook and other platforms are adjusting upwards, growing in 2014 by almost 150%, as many online retailers for the first time put money into this channel.

SEO service provider Searchmetrics, for instance, examined the presence ("social visibility") of the ten most actively traded web shops in social media. Their analysis shows that the activities of traders in the networks over the past year have increased significantly, but see the potential of social media marketing by no means exhausted, instead believe that there is still a lot of room for improvement.

By Daniela La Marca