Apr 5, 2019
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Search and social are key for fashion e-tail says Nosto report

Apr 5, 2019

Fashion ecommerce brands looking to drive more engagement are encouraged to look at their social media and search performance, according to data from a new report.


A study of 1.19 billion visits to ecommerce sites globally during the three busiest months of the retail calendar (from November 2018 to January 2019) found that search and social sites include Facebook and Google are playing a leading role in driving traffic and sales.

The report from Nosto, an ecommerce personalisation and retail AI platform, said that search and social media sites accounted for 34% of traffic, 28% of orders and 26% of the total order value of large online fashion retailers during that period.

Notably, organic and paid social only accounted for 9% of all traffic, whilst organic and paid search generated the remaining 25% of traffic, but Nosto CEO Jim Lofgren said the results may not reveal the full picture.

“Social sites such as Facebook and Instagram are important destinations for branding and product discovery, especially in the fashion space. You can’t judge their full power only by looking at the last click from either paid or unpaid sources that are driving visitors to merchants’ stores. Instagram in particular is an extremely popular platform on which shoppers follow fashion influencers to learn about new styles and brands, but that higher-funnel discovery process won’t show up in ecommerce marketers’ website analytics data,” he said.

“The modern ecommerce fashion shopping journey is highly complex, and more often than not the shopper finally arrives at a retailer’s site by heading there directly or via Google search.”


So where are brands getting more bang for their buck? The study highlighted that the four main social networks (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat) Facebook and Instagram are the biggest drivers of traffic and orders from paid and organic social.

Both in paid and unpaid social, Facebook accounts for the largest share of traffic, orders and total order value when compared with Instagram, Snapchat and Pinterest. In fact, Facebook is by far the most influential platform, representing 73% of all traffic and 89% of all orders within paid social; and 53% of all traffic and 59% of all orders on the paid social site.

Paid social also goes a long way on Instagram, generating 16% of all traffic and 10% of all orders, while on the organic side Instagram accounted for 41% of all traffic and 41% of all orders.

Together, Snapchat and Pinterest accounted for just 6% of organic social traffic.

But beyond social media, the report uncovered that visits and transactions for fashion e-tailers are either generated by direct traffic, from sources such as marketing emails, ad networks and affiliate sites, or from dark social.

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