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Social Media Has A Black Friday #Fail

IBM‘s report on online retailing over the holiday weekend shows online sales on Thanksgiving and Black Friday were both up sharply, 17% and 21% respectively. Particularly sharp were the increases in customers shopping from their mobile phones and tablets, with sales and traffic both up by over 65%, and iPad traffic doubling.

But here’s one notable under-performer in the online shopping frenzy: social media. Given the amount of attention paid by brands and retailers to building up their buzz on social platforms, consumers don’t seem to clicking through and buying much: just 0.34% of all online sales on Black Friday came from referrals from social networks like Facebook , Twitter and YouTube .

That was down by 35% on 2011. Yep, while sales went up, traffic increased and more people came to sites from mobiles and tablets, less people than last year — more than a third less — clicked through from social sites to make a purchase.

Traffic from Twitter to retail websites was especially grim: down from 0.02% of total traffic on Black Friday in 2011 to 0.00% this year: it no longer even manages to round up from the third decimal point. Referrals from Facebook were down marginally; again, a less-than-encouraging result when Facebook’s userbase grew by a quarter in the same period.

The numbers will need some serious spinning by social media gurus invested in the idea of social commerce being the future for online retail. Luckily, our friends at the world’s finest fake news website have a motivational speech prepared — a sort of Gettysburg Address for social evangelists.

By Tom Garadapd | November 26, 2012


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