- Social networks this year were the only digital marketing channel to show a decline in revenue per visit (RPV) among the traffic they drove to online merchants, a sign of eroding consumer trust in social media, according to an Adobe Analytics report shared with Mobile Marketer. The top digital marketing channels for online merchants were direct traffic, natural search, referring domains and email.
- Fewer web users consulted social networks for gift ideas compared to two years ago, even as social media drove more visits to e-commerce sites. Traffic from social networks jumped 110% in the past two years, ahead of paid search, natural search and display.
- Adobe suggests mobile marketers simplify the checkout process to avoid losing as much as $9 billion in holiday spending this year. Improved smartphone checkout can boost revenue by 7%, making mobile platforms as effective as desktop computers for e-commerce transactions, Adobe estimated.
Adobe's research shows that social networks have become less effective at driving high-value traffic to shopping sites, likely because consumers have lost trust in social media amid several high-profile scandals. Facebook this year suffered the worst data breach in company history, admitted that a political advertising firm had misused the data of 87 million people and was blamed for its role in spreading false rumors that led to deadly violence in several countries. Google this month shut down the consumer part of its Google+ social network after covering up a security flaw that exposed user data to third parties.
However, most people haven't actually purchased anything through platforms like Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat, according to a separate study by digital commerce firm Sumo Heavy. While more than of half of U.S. adults said social media influenced their purchase decisions, 82% had yet to transact using buy buttons or other forms of social commerce. This space has yet to gain major traction among consumers likely due to security and privacy concerns. Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat have developed more social commerce capabilities, but they still have to overcome consumer objections to making a purchase through their platforms.
In addition to its findings on social commerce, Adobe said voice assistants are helping shoppers make purchases on other channels. Almost half (47%) of voice-assistant users seek information about products, 43% create shopping lists and 32% compare prices, per Adobe's survey of more than 1,000 consumers. Amazon is the market leader in voice-enabled smart speakers, although Google is gaining ground. Amazon's global share of smart speaker shipments fell to 41% in Q2 2018 from 76% a year earlier, while Google boosted its share to 28% from 16% during the same periods, according to researcher Strategy Analytics.