E-Commerce Traffic: Where Are the Customers?

E-Commerce Traffic: Where Are the Customers?

December 30, 2015

In today’s world of e-commerce, marketing has become more and more democratic in the sense that, even small and medium-sized e-commerce companies can apply the same strategies that big brands apply and can gain significant returns from it.

The e-commerce traffic does not solely rely on SEO or offline marketing spending anymore, but instead, social media, for example, offers wide opportunities.

It’s just the right time of the year to publish the-state-of-the-art reports on e-commerce market and Yotpo (which topped our “Best Shopify Apps” list a while ago) just did that by publishing their Ecommerce Benchmark report, which gathered data from across more than 100.000 e-commerce sites and around 2 billion online transactions.

In today’s blog post, by drilling down the report, we’ll share a brief overview mainly on the state of the e-commerce traffic and which marketing channels generate and convert how.

Traffic Quality and Quantity of Various Marketing Channels

Social channels are surely a marketing weapon for all sizes of e-commerce companies.

However, conventional traffic channels, being direct, search and referral still beats social traffic significantly.

The average share of direct traffic in e-commerce is around 40%, where search covers around 35% and referral, almost 10%.

This still does not deny that social is an important channel, because there is another dimension of the traffic, being it’s quality, i.e. the engagement level of the visits.

Social traffic, and especially traffic from Instagram is beating other traffic sources like direct, referral or email with its quality, measured as average time spent on site.

Non-Mobile vs. Mobile Traffic and Page Views

Non-mobile traffic is still ahead of mobile.

However the gap between is closing fast, year on year.

Currently, mobile traffic accounts for 38% of e-commerce traffic, and it’s getting more and more important, or actually crucial, to set up a mobile commerce strategy as part of the overall omnichannel planning of e-commerce in 2016.

Otherwise, e-commerce companies who fail to feed those visitors coming from mobile will be losing off a major opportunity.

The Action Plan

As can be seen from the report, social media marketing brings high-quality visitors to e-commerce sites. Therefore, gearing up towards a more active social media strategy should be a definite must for e-commerce companies of all sizes in 2016. Here, we do not solely mean, just tweeting or posting on Facebook occasionally, but instead really keeping up an active voice in all channels including Instagram and also the rising social star of e-commerce, Pinterest.

Mobile is no longer a nice-to-have, even if you are small or medium-sized e-commerce companies.

Not having it causes companies to simply lose almost half of their potential sales, due to the increasing share of mobile traffic in total e-commerce traffic. Therefore, mobile commerce should be topping the list of to-dos in all e-commerce executives’ agenda for 2016.

Generating traffic is tricky, and then comes another challenge: converting those visitors.

More than half of the e-commerce visitors make their purchasing decisions by comparing prices online, so e-commerce companies of all sizes should be geared up for that channel.


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