Shopify Examines Social ROI For Commerce Sites, Finds Facebook Dominates But Reddit Is Growing

Shopify has compiled data from its platform merchants to determine how much value commerce sites get from social media engagement, and put the results into a massive infographic. If, like me, you find infographics tedious and antithetical to meaningful analysis, then you’ll be happy to see I pulled the most interesting tidbits out of the giant graphic for a closer look.

It’s interesting to note that Shopify analyzed 37 million social visits to its client stores, and found that those led to 529,000 total e-commerce sales for 2013. Given that Shopify sold $1.7 billion worth of goods in 2013, and that the survey covered data gathered from 90,000 online storefronts, that’s not a huge amount of money derived from social channels. But there are some key caveats to consider, the biggest being that many merchants don’t invest much in social or use it as a sales channel at all in fact.

As for what does work in social media commerce, Facebook is still at the top of the heap in terms of converting social shares to e-commerce dollars. FB was responsible for 63 percent of all social media visits to Shopify stores in 2013, or a total of 23.3 million, and around 85 percent of all orders made following social visits came from FB, too. Polyvore surprisingly generates the highest average order value of any social site, and Instagram is high, too. Both have higher average orders than Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter. Instagram is doing well despite the fact that clickable links are accessible only via an account’s biography. Facebook’s conversion rate rules, however, with 1.85 percent of visits converting to sales.

Another interesting tidbit: Reddit is the fastest-growing source of orders among social sites, with 152 percent increase in order volume between 2012 and 2013. FB is still growing strong, too, following in second place with 129 percent growth.

Most of what these stats seem to show is that social media and how to use it to drive e-commerce business is still an area that could stand a significant amount of exploration. Facebook is dominating in most measures that count, but that could have more to do with its marketing tools being more mature and better developed than those on other networks.

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