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After the chaos of Cyber Monday, what role did social really play in driving sales?

Submitted by on December 4, 2013 – 9:31 amNo Comment

Findings revealed last week suggested that social media, up until Thanksgiving, had played an insignificant role in driving online sales. Now the dust has settled on Cyber Monday, has its position changed at all?

Not hugely, up-to-date figures show. While social media sites drove $148 million in online sales between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday, this only represents a 2% share of the pie – relatively flat compared to last year.

However, for the sales that did take place, there has been marked growth compared to 2012. Twitter’s share of referral traffic grew by 24%, up to 9% of total online sales, according to Adobe. Pinterest’s share of referral growth increased to 17%, while Facebook drove 64% of all social media driven sales, representing an increase of 12%.

Facebook and Pinterest took the lead, then, but it was Facebook that saw the biggest successes this year, despite much recent evidence to suggest the network is losing its grip on the commerce community. Shoppers referred from Facebook averaged $99.60 per order, compared to $95.30 on Pinterest, while Facebook referrals converted sales at a rate 38% higher than Pinterest, according to IBM.

Still, there’s no doubt that social media played an important role in driving shoppers into physical stores, but this is slightly harder to quantify. According to a Twitter blog post, 60% of users say that Twitter plays an important role in their Cyber Monday shopping, with 78% of users claiming they’d visit a store if they saw a tweet for a sale at a retailer in their vicinity.

Holiday sales shopping may then be one area where social media becomes more effective in pushing real-life actions, rather than succeeding in completely digitizing an experience. Brands and retailers should consider this in the final run-up to Christmas.


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