New York -- Social media sites are playing an increasingly important role in driving traffic to other websites, including retail websites and even other social networking sites, at the expense of search engines and portal websites, according to new research from Experian Research Services. As of March 2014, social media sites now account for 7.72% of all traffic to retail web sites, up from 6.59% in March 2013. Further, Pinterest, more than Facebook or YouTube, is supplying the greatest percentage of downstream traffic to retail sites.
"While search still dominates, social media is becoming a significant source of traffic across the Internet as consumers increasingly use sites like Facebook, Pinterest or YouTube more as discovery platforms," said Bill Tancer, general manager of global research, Experian Marketing Services. "Many of today's marketers are leveraging the power of social communities to increase customer engagement and expand their brand's reach. For retailers, all eyes are on Pinterest."
According to Experian’s “2014 Digital Marketer: Benchmark and Trend Report,” more retailers are directing their customers to social media within their email campaigns. Ninety-six percent of marketers now promote social media in their emails, and in 2013, Pinterest had the greatest year-over-year increase. Pinterest is now being promoted by 64% of brands within emails.
After visiting Facebook, YouTube or Pinterest, consumers are visiting Amazon.com more frequently than any other retailer website.
Social media continues to grow as an influential source of traffic for retail sites, and it's important that marketers understand what is driving customers to their web page," said Tancer. "Amazon is clearly benefitting from this trend across all of the major social networks.”