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Monetate-AOV-by-Social-Traffic-Source-in-Q1-June2014Social traffic to e-commerce sites continues to underperform relative to search traffic but is gaining in some key areas, according to Monetate’s latest E-Commerce Quarterly report [download page]. During Q1 2014, the average order value (AOV) for social traffic was $107.55, up from $91.40 during the year-earlier period. The analysts note that increases are being driven by the visual web, with AOVs for traffic from Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook and Polyvore all increasing on a year-over-year basis.

That was particularly the case for traffic coming from Instagram, with its Q1 2014 AOV of $123 more than double the average of $51 a year earlier. Of note, of the 4 platforms highlighted, Polyvore traffic sported the highest AOV, of $149.12. That’s the latest of several pieces of research demonstrating the high AOV of Polyvore traffic.

Polyvore ceded the top spot when it came to revenue per session, though, with Facebook taking the top position with an average of $2.01. That was head and shoulders above the rest, with Instagram’s average a much lower $0.37.

Of course, traffic from social networks can’t yet compete with other referral sources, something seemingly confirmed with each quarterly Monetate report. In Q1, for example, search traffic’s AOV of $188.10 was 75% higher than social’s average. And social traffic’s average conversion rate of 1.08% trailed search (2.27%) and email (3.31%) by a considerable margin.

Finally, the Monetate report indicates that search’s share of website traffic remains dominant. Referring almost 1 in 3 e-commerce site visits in Q1, search was far ahead of email (1.7%) and social (0.9%). [Social’s fractional share needs to be put in context: the study measures direct traffic (last-click attribution), which tends to underestimate social’s influence by a sizable degree.]

About the Data: Monetate’s E-Commerce Quarterly analyzes a random sample of over seven billion 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 e-commerce business.

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