- Social commerce is growing quickly: More and more retailers are attracting customers and driving sales through paid ads or organic posts on social networks. It's already a billion-dollar business: The top 500 retailers earned $2.69 billion from social shopping in 2013, according to the Internet Retailer’s Social Media 500, up more than 60% over 2012, while the e-commerce market as a whole grew only 17%.
- On some e-commerce platforms, social-media referrals have already surpassed email in the proportion of total sales generated.
- Social commerce is even larger in terms of revenue generation when looking not at traditional direct referrals, when the last click before purchase happens on a social-media site, but on where consumers began their purchase process, i.e., the first click.
- Growth is sure to accelerate and conversion rates should improve as Twitter and Facebook roll out "Buy" buttons, which will allow social-network audiences to initiate an e-commerce purchase by clicking on a retailer's post or tweet. Facebook's tests began in July, Twitter's in September.
- Facebook is the clear leader for social-commerce referrals and sales: This is due in large part to the sheer size of its audience — 71% of US adult internet users are on Facebook. A Facebook share of an e-commerce post translates to an average $3.58 in revenue from sales, according to AddShoppers. On Twitter, a share or retweet is worth only 85 cents.
- Triple-digit growth: Even as the largest social referrer, Facebook continues to grow as an e-commerce engine. Sites on the Shopify platform saw a 129% increase in the number of orders driven by Facebook over the course of 2013.
- But other sites are gaining, and even leading on, specific metrics, like average order value (AOV): Polyvore, for example, sees $66.75 in AOV from social referrals, according to Shopify. Pinterest sees $65. That's compared to Facebook, which sees $55 AOV. Pinterest also drives more social sharing of retail content than any other network including Facebook.
- Instagram's rise in order value: Instagram AOV is up from $51 per order in the first quarter of 2013 [...]