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Home » industry research, News, Social Commerce, social media marketing, Social Media News

Search and email remain light years ahead of social for selling

Submitted by on July 3, 2013 – 9:09 amNo Comment

While a strong social presence is key to brand awareness and reputation, email remains the strongest channel for online sales, a new report says.

According to Custora’s report, ‘E-Commerce Customer Acquisition’, over the last four years online retailers have quadrupled the rate of customers acquired through email to nearly 7%.

Meanwhile, over that same period Facebook barely registers on the sales graph, with the comparatively tiny number of people buying via the network staying flat. Twitter doesn’t register at all.

The findings were obtained by analyzing data from 72 million customers shopping on 86 different retailer sites, over a period of two years. Custora found that customers finding retailers through search were 50% more valuable in terms of shopping more often and spending more money. Email customers were 11% more valuable, Facebook shoppers about average, and Twitter customers 23% less valuable than average. In a nutshell, then, Google’s where it’s at.

Custora’s lead data scientists Aaron Goodman told CNN: “I wouldn’t necessarily say Twitter is inherently a bad way to do online marketing, but we haven’t seen a lot of good Twitter strategies right now.” He added that Twitter campaigns rely on the off-chance someone will see a deal on their feed and act on it before it disappears into the noise.

Clearly, businesses need to stick with social media, but they should consider diverting their resources to email marketing, which seems like old hat, but remains a strong lead generator. Or, at the very least, ensure they’re on Google+, which has recently demonstrated increased search potential, and as Custora’s findings show, search is still leading the e-commerce way.


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