We’ve seen the trend for a long time: social networks are sending more and more downstream traffic to retail sites. Hitwise has the numbers from December—and the downstream traffic from social networks is up 37%.
The change doesn’t look super significant, I know, but it’s the biggest percentage increase for any category. Fewer people are starting at retailers’ sites or through permission email, so search engines and social media are more important than ever.
So is it more because users are recommending deals to their friends, or is it because of retailers’ presence on social networks? Likely both. Hitwise found that many users were actively seeking info on popular retailers.
As an example, we ran a custom analysis of internal searches on Facebook to look for retail brands during the holiday season. . . . During the holidays over 2% of the traffic to Facebook (the 2nd ranked website in the US) visited a website in the Retail 500 immediately after. Retailers like Wal-Mart, Target, Best Buy, and Bath & Body Works (and others) all appeared within the internal searches taking place on Facebook signifying that consumers were actively seeking their content and offerings.
The first week of December, that rate topped 3%. With 175M daily visitors, even 3% is nothing to sneeze at.
What do you think? Is this proof that even big brands should be on social media? Or should they focus their efforts elsewhere?