Search Still King of E-Commerce Referrals in Q2, But Email Traffic Converts Best

September 17, 2013

This article is included in these additional categories:

Digital | Email | Paid Search | Retail & E-Commerce | Search Engine Optimization | Social Media

Monetate-Ecommerce-Traffic-Share-by-Source-Q22012-Q22013-Sept2013Search engines still dominate email and social media as an e-commerce traffic driver, according to Monetate’s latest quarterly e-commerce report [download page] covering Q2 2013 activity. About one-third of the sampled e-commerce site visits in Q2 came from search, compared to roughly 2.4% from email and just 1.1% from social media. But when it came to conversion rates, email (3.34%) outperformed both search (1.94%) and social (0.79%) by a fairly sizable margin. These trends have held for some time, with search easily besting the other sources for traffic in Q1 and Q4 2012, and email sporting the best conversion rates. The latest data suggests that conversion rates are declining for search traffic, while remaining generally steady for email and social. In terms of e-commerce visits, Q2 marked the lowest share in at least 5 quarters for both social and email.

Meanwhile, search continues to have a leg-up on email and social in one other metric: average order value. During Q2, average order value for search traffic was $111.18, its highest point in several quarters, ahead of email ($99.93) and social ($86.80). While social trailed in this regard, it should be noted that its result this past quarter represented a significant 13% hike from an average value of $76.59 in Q1.

Other Findings:

  • The add-to-cart rate was significantly higher for traffic referred by email (10.73%) than search (6.81%) and social (3.37%).
  • Average page views was slightly higher for email than search traffic (8.84 and 8.71, respectively), both close to double social’s average (4.82).

About the Data: The EQ analyzes a random sample of over 600 million online shopping experiences using “same store” data across each calendar quarter.

Averages throughout the EQ are calculated across the entire sample. Key performance indicators, such as average order value and conversion rate, will vary by industry/market type. These averages are published only to support the analysis in each release of the EQ, and are not intended to be benchmarks for any ecommerce business.

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