Wolfgang Digital has released its annual report for e-commerce websites which analysed 250 million e-commerce website sessions between July 2017 and June 2018. The importance of encouraging return visits plus social media’s purchasing influence are among the key insights to be gleaned from the study.
The research found that revenues for purchases on mobile devices is the big mover, growing by 23% to account for 32% of overall revenue. Mobile dominates as a traffic source with 53% coming from a smartphone, versus 37% for desktop and 10% for tablets. Big ticket purchases are still more likely to take place on desktop or tablet.
Not surprisingly, Google dominates but has declined. Google delivers the majority of traffic (60%) and revenue (56%). However, its share continues to drop, with still no visibility from Google Analytics into who’s winning that share.
The strongest trend the study has ever seen is the value of the returning visitor. Websites that attract a user back time and time again are ahead of their one-click-wonder competitors when it comes to sales.
The more visits per user, the higher the revenues. Currently, e-commerce websites are averaging 1.5 visits over 12 months. Wolfgang Digital say anything you can do to increase this return visit rate is about the best marketing you can do.
The report also reveals the true value of social media. It’s not just user interactions on your website that count. Facebook analytics reveal a social media engager is TWICE as likely to buy from you than a website visit (4.4% conversion versus 1.8%). Messenger was notable for having extraordinarily high conversion rates (9.9%).
Facebook has advocacy advantage, 48% of people are more likely to buy from a brand they see a friend or family member interact with. With the average Facebook user having 338 friends, a single share can bring you up to 162 eager potential customers in an instant.
Speaking of the challenge for e-commerce website businesses, Study Author and Wolfgang Digital Founder and CEO, Alan Coleman said, "Right now e-commerce websites are spending the majority of their budget with Google and Facebook, but struggling to understand the conflicting metrics being provided by the two platforms. When Amazon grabs a large chunk of e-commerce ad spend in 2019, the complexities around this are certain to intensify."