The recently released Online Consumer Report from RichRelevance offers several valuable insights for online retailers in the lead up to the 2011 holiday shopping season. Data gleaned from over 200 million shopping sessions on major U.S. retail sites shows trends in browsing and online shopping behaviors and how consumers make purchasing decisions.
The study examined consumers navigating to a retail site via bookmarks, search engines, or social networks. In the reporting period, the month of August 2011, more than 4 million orders totaling $500 million were placed and included in the study.
How Search Engine Traffic Shops Online
Organic search engine results are still a top traffic source for online merchants, providing 18 percent of all traffic. Google takes the lion’s share of the credit for organic search engine traffic, with 81 percent of those visitors coming from Google search properties. AOL fared the worst, sending just 1.7 percent of organic traffic to studied retail sites. Bing and Yahoo drove 7.5 and 9.7 percent, respectively.
AOL traffic does, however, convert highest and places the highest orders, at $105.27 on average per order.
Twitter Traffic = Big Spenders
Facebook traffic to retail sites increased an astonishing 92 percent year-over-year for August, yet Twitter and Facebook still account for less than 1 percent of traffic.
Facebook and Twitter traffic showed conversion rates of 1.2 and 0.5 percent, respectively, but spent more than those who landed on the site through Google’s organic search. Twitter shoppers topped the list of big spenders across all traffic categories with an average order of $121.33.
“As retailers vie to get their share of an estimated $450 billion in holiday spending, there is a tremendous opportunity to respond to the different ways that people are shopping on their sites,” RichRelevance CEO David Selinger said of about the results. “The ones who succeed will be those who most effectively wrap the e-commerce experience around each shopper, whether they come from Facebook or Google or a direct email link.”
Increased 2011 E-Commerce Spending Could Mean Happy Holiday Season for Retailers
Q2 2011 U.S. retail e-commerce spending grew 14 percent over the year prior, to $37.5 billion, according to comScore. It was the seventh consecutive quarter of year-over-year growth. eMarketer credits social commerce, mobile commerce, and daily deals sites with the continued growth of the online retail space. They predict over $100 billion in annual online retail sales by 2015.