Social media will play a more important role in commerce this Christmas thanks to the rise of discovery shopping, forecasts Play.com .
The marketplace website says it has seen a marked trend towards shoppers arriving on its site as they follow up recommendations or images on social media sites such as Pinterest or Fancy. Incoming traffic from Pinterest, it said, is up by 200% in search alone, year-on-year. Traffic from the site peaked in the run up to last Christmas.
Play.com’s analysis of its incoming traffic from search also showed the number of visitors searching on mobile devices now accounts for about a third of all visits to the site. Some 23% of all retail sales through the 3,000 merchants who trade on Play.com now take place through mobile devices.
The marketplace also expects more ‘traditional’ social media channels to be an important location for product discovery and customer service this Christmas. It saw social media drive around £2m of gross merchandise sales (GMS) on the site last year. Research from Rakuten’s Play.com shows that shoppers who engage with the brand on Facebook go on to spend around 24% more on the site. Sales directed through Facebook to Play.com are 80% up.
Shingo Murakami, managing director at Rakuten’s Play.com, said: “Christmas is around 90 days away, but it’s no longer a case of ready your website and shoppers will come, retailers need to think carefully about the channels in which they invest and optimise. There’s no one size fits all model, but the trends our merchants have seen in the last year highlight the growing role of social discovery and multichannel offerings in the retail mix.”