Aggregate Markets teamed up with Webtrends to develop and publish a study that examined the effect social networking and mobile sites have on regular website traffic as well as the rise of Facebook commerce by several leading online retailers.
The White Paper Report
The report entitled, “The Effect of Social Networks and the Mobile Web on Website Traffic and the Inevitable Rise of Facebook Commerce” analyzed unique visitors to websites of Fortune 100 companies in addition to their associated Facebook fan pages. The result is an interesting industry trend.
By comparing brand websites with corresponding Facebook fan pages across a three to five month period, 44 organizations revealed that 40 percent had higher traffic their Facebook fan page than website. The study was then split into two categories: e-commerce and non-ecommerce which disclosed these same companies have lost approximately 25 percent of unique visitors.
The number of Facebook fans has significantly grown since the platform’s conception. There is a noticeable distinction on Facebook between businesses that are engaged in e-commerce activities and those that are not.
In general, non e-commerce brands have more Facebook traffic than website traffic when compared to e-commerce brands. Webtrends believes this is due to the common misconception that Facebook marketing is unproven for online retailers; therefore some brands do not choose to invest in this medium.
Reliability of the Facebook Platform
This begs the question: Is Facebook a reliable platform for e-commerce? Since Facebook has proven to be constantly selected over regular non-ecommerce websites, traffic continues to find fan pages. However e-commerce websites also continue to generate traffic. Therefore, as the report suggests, it is only a matter of time before Facebook catches up with traditional websites.
Therefore, to answer the previous question, yes it currently is a reliable platform for e-commerce. However, due to the stigma from marketers of the reliability, traffic is not quite booming. As Facebook continues to expand, online retail professionals will witness the value of the platform thus beginning e-commerce at fan pages.
This report does not completely prove that Facebook will become the king of e-commerce. Instead, the report provides evidence that Facebook is here to stay and businesses cannot ignore its power. Given the industry, Facebook can be a significant advertising mechanism. For those that understand there is an entire world outside of a single website, Facebook e-commerce is a significant step.