Few Direct Paths to E-Tail Purchases
Consumers might just type in the URL of a favorite e-commerce
site to do some shopping online, but the vast majority make their way to purchase
from some other destination. That is the finding of a study by GSI Commerce
and Forrester Research.
According to the findings, 77 percent of hard goods
and 82 percent of soft goods bought online during last year’s Christmas
selling season started with a search, an email or some other stimulus.
research found that many shoppers in the study were exposed to multiple marketing
messages before making a purchase. Forty-five percent of hard goods and 53
percent of soft goods required at least two contact points before the buy was
Email and search are the two most effective means to drive purchases with
40 percent of hard good transactions and 60 percent of soft good purchases
starting from either of those two sources.
Interestingly, social media was largely
ineffective in online sales generation. Only two percent of holiday sales were
connected to social sites. The one bright spot with social media was directly
related to the sale of soft goods between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday.
“While hard goods retailers in this study experienced no change in the
number of orders that resulted from links from social sites, soft goods retailers
experienced a 45 percent lift in orders that resulted from those same types
of links on Cyber Monday versus during the rest of the holiday season. The
limited time nature of web holiday deals during these key dates likely compelled
shoppers to share such messages with their friends,” the report stated.
Dias, executive vice president of strategy and marketing for GSI Commerce,
told Mashable, “The best analogy is in the South; a lot of people go
to church on Sunday. If you go with the theory that you should market where
the people are, then you should be running off to market during church services.
Facebook has the same analogy. Buying things from retailers is maybe 10th on
the list of things they want to do on Facebook.”
- The Purchase Path of Online Buyers – GSI Commerce
Media Has Little Impact on Online Retail Purchases – Mashable
Discussion Questions: What is the most effective means of driving consumers to websites to make purchases? Do you believe consumers are moving up “buying things” on the list of things they are looking to do on Facebook and other social media sites? What are some good practices for getting consumers to share deals via social media?