Social media retail growth outpacing e-commerce

Retail sales driven by social media are on the rise and earned $3.3 billion for the top 500 retailers in 2014, a 26 percent rise from 2013.

This rise is social media sales is far out pacing other channels, including e-commerce, which rose 16 percent in the United States last year, according to the Internet Retailer's "Social Media 500" and Business Insider.

Social media is driving a much bigger increase in retail traffic than any other online channel, BI Intelligence reported in a new study. Its share of e-commerce referrals was nearly 200 percent in the past year.

However, social engagement with retail is still limited when it comes to a mobile device. Social media users are 35 percent less likely to share a retailer's social post on mobile than on a desktop.

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) remains the dominant social platform, accounting for 50 percent of social referrals and 64 percent of total social revenue. But Pinterest is also a major player, accounting for 16 percent of all social revenue—even though its audience is 6.5 times smaller than Twitter's. Another player, Snapchat, is rumored to be working on a partnership with shopping app Spring.

The biggest loser in 2015 seems to be Instagram, which does not drive significant sales for retailers, but can still be used for branding purposes. Retailers are hoping that new 'buy buttons' on paid posts could make the app a more direct response driver.

For more:
-See this Business Insider article

Related stories:
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Old Navy launches Yahoo, Tumblr campaign
Pinterest to release buy button this year
Reddit encourages human conversation
Millennials want hands on shopping experience

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