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Search and social sites drive online fashion sales

By Danielle Wightman-Stone


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New global research suggests large online fashion retailers get more than a quarter (28 percent) of online orders directly from search and social sites such as Google and Facebook.

Nosto, the e-commerce personalisation and retail AI platform analysed 1.19 billion visits to e-commerce sites globally during the busiest three months of the retail calendar, from December 2018 to January 2019 and found that 34 percent of traffic and 28 percent of orders for large online fashion retail brands came directly from search and social media.

Of all traffic arriving directly from paid social, 80 percent is from Facebook and Instagram, added Nosto. Within paid social, Facebook accounts for 73 percent of all traffic, 89 percent of all orders and 86 percent of the total order value. In organic social, Facebook represents 53 percent of traffic, 59 percent of orders and 56 percent of the total order value.

Instagram on the other hand generates 41 percent of all organic social traffic, 41 percent of all organic orders and 43 percent of the total organic social order value, while on the paid social side, the photo-sharing app generates 16 percent of all traffic, 10 percent of all orders and 14 percent of the total order value.

Jim Lofgren, chief executive of Nosto said in a statement: “Social sites such as Facebook and Instagram are important destinations for branding and product discovery, especially in the fashion space. You can’t judge their full power only by looking at the last click from either paid or unpaid sources that are driving visitors to merchants’ stores.

“Instagram in particular is an extremely popular platform on which shoppers follow fashion influencers to learn about new styles and brands, but that higher-funnel discovery process won’t show up in e-commerce marketers’ website analytics data.”

Of the other social networks, both Snapchat and Pinterest account for 3 percent each of direct organic social traffic. However, orders resulting directly from organic Pinterest and Snapchat activity based on the last click are negligible. In paid social Snapchat drives 10 percent of traffic and 1 percent of orders, implying a stronger branding and awareness value currently.

Lofgren added: “The modern e-commerce fashion shopping journey is highly complex, and more often than not the shopper finally arrives at a retailer’s site by heading there directly or via Google search. This continues to pose challenges for e-commerce brands trying to evaluate the ROI of their marketing spend.”

In addition to showing how social drives online fashion sales, the research also notes that 76 percent of all traffic, 64 percent of all orders and 59 percent of the total order value for large enterprise fashion e-commerce brands comes from smartphones, and that 24 percent of visits were to fashion retailers with annual sales of 50 million US dollars or more.

Photo by energepic.com from Pexels