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Pinterest and Instagram drive biggest mobile orders for large online fashion retailers

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While they drive relatively small amounts of traffic, Pinterest and Instagram deliver the highest average order values from mobile devices for large online fashion retailers – bigger than Facebook, according to a new study.

And overall the mobile order values delivered via paid social sources (such as ads) are higher than those that come via unpaid activity.

The global analysis by Nosto, an ecommerce personalisation and retail AI platform, tracked the source of mobile traffic and orders to large, enterprise online fashion retailers based on the ‘last click’ (where a visitor came from prior to landing onto a retailers’ site from both paid and unpaid traffic sources). It reveals that Pinterest and Instagram deliver the highest average order value (AOV), way ahead of Facebook, on both paid and unpaid social media. The AOV on Pinterest is $154 (paid), unpaid $68, while on Instagram paid AOV is $103, unpaid is $65. In contrast Facebook AOV is just $69 paid/$58 unpaid.

However, Facebook has the highest conversion rate on social media – 1.24% unpaid, 0.73% paid. Given that it is also the biggest driver of social media traffic to fashion retail, Facebook generates more orders overall, but they are smaller on average. Snapchat trails the other social networks in both conversion rate and AOV. This is most likely because it is more of a top of the funnel discovery channel where consumers go for inspiration rather than immediate purchases.

Overall, average order values on unpaid social media activity are lower (for example less than half as much on Pinterest), showing that when consumers click through from paid social media and make a purchase, they tend to buy more. However, unpaid conversion rates are higher suggesting that consumers from these sources are more committed to making purchases and more likely to buy overall.

“The high Average Order Value the study demonstrates for Instagram and Pinterest shows the potential they have within fashion retail, particularly as both are adding new features to support ecommerce,” says Jim Lofgren, CEO, Nosto. “However, right now their low direct traffic and lower conversion rates means there is a risk that they become destinations purely for branding plays. Instagram has managed to drive brand awareness for fashion brands by allowing them to leverage influencers, but can Instagram and Pinterest manage to sustainably drive ecommerce revenue?”   

The study, Fashion Retail On The Go, tracked how mobile paid and unpaid channels – including social media – drive traffic, conversion rates and order values for enterprise fashion retailers (those with annual sales of $50m or more). It’s based on 1.19 billion visits to ecommerce sites globally between November 2018 to January 2019, 24% of which were to enterprise fashion sites. The research tracked all traffic sources based on the ‘last click’ (where a visitor came from prior to landing onto an ecommerce site). 

The report’s findings come as a separate surveyby Visualsoft suggests that, in the wider retail community, 17% of UK retailers were missing out on valuable business by neglecting to add clear social sharing options for their customers’ purchases – a 4% decline year-on-year. It also found that Instagram has been left by the wayside. Despite its in-built shopping feature and inherent image sharing capabilities presenting a clear opportunity for retailers to connect with potential shoppers, Visualsoft reported that 2018 saw an average increase of just over 4,000 followers.

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