Social networks increase traffic sent to online retailers by 13%


Social networks are sending nearly 13% more traffic to online retailers this year than last year, according to Experian Hitwise, the online competitive intelligence service. The company's analysis, taken from their latest report "Getting to grips with Social Media" reveals that social networking sites accounted for 11.6% of all UK Internet visits during September, representing a year on year growth of 4.3%.


Facebook becomes second biggest source of traffic online

Within the social networks and forums category, the three dominant players are Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

Those three combined account for 75% of all visits to the category.

Facebook accounts for 55% of all visits to social networking sites, making it by far the biggest social network in the UK.

It is also the second biggest source of traffic to all websites after Google. Approximately 1 in 10 visits to a website in September came immediately after a visit to Facebook, up from 1 in 13 visits back in September 2009.


However, social media is not just about Facebook. Experian Hitwise's analysis shows that fast moving sites such as Vimeo, Badoo and tumblr have all at least doubled their online traffic in the last 12 months.

Retailers relying more on traffic from social media

Online retailers are increasingly relying on traffic from social media to drive sales and interest in their products. In September 2010, 9.1% of visits to the Shopping and Classifieds category came from social media, up from 8.3% in September 2009.

Within online retail, the Music category relies most heavily on traffic from social networks with 11.3% of all traffic driven by social networking. Video and Games also receive over 11% of its traffic from social media, but Music has seen 5% growth in the last 12 months to top the table.


Robin Goad said: "As our analysis shows, most of the online retail categories have seen an increase in traffic coming from social media this year with music, video and games leading the way. The challenge for companies is still how to successfully use social media without infringing on what was previously considered a community space. For those brands that get it right, the rewards can be exceptional. For example, BlackBerry now receives more traffic from social networks than search engines largely because of the brand's commitment to engage with consumers online."


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