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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : September 26, 2012

Forrester: Facebook will never be a direct sales channel

Forrester Research has released a study showing that very few transactions, for both new and repeat customers, are driven directly by social media links.

by Helen Leggatt

In their latest report, "The Purchase Path of Online Buyers 2012", Forrester reveals that, while marketers focus on social, it's not the channel that drives consumers to open their wallets.

Almost 4 in 10 new customers who make a purchase arrive at a website via organic or paid search links. Three out of 10 transactions by repeat customers are initiated after interacting with an email from a retailer, 13% after reading an email and 17% after seeing an email and interacting with other forms of marketing, such as display or paid search ads.

However, less than 1% of transactions could be traced back to social media activity, concludes Forrester, after analyzing 77,000 online transactions over a two-week period.

"We've known for awhile that Facebook hasn't been a direct sales channel for most companies and it never will be," says the report's author, Sucharita Mulpuru-Kodali, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research.

"Hopefully we can put that conversation to rest now. But there are interesting opportunities to leverage Facebook to amplify a brand or a product, or to drive traffic to image sharing sites like Pinterest which seem to have more engagement from a shopping perspective."

Tags: direct sales, ecommerce, email triggers, online shopping, social commerce, social media, social network

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