Facebook gives e-retailers some flash

Flash-sale retail leaders in the Social Media 300 gain traffic from social networks.

Thad Rueter

Social media is driving significant traffic to flash-sale retailers’ sites, suggest data from the Internet Retailer Social Media 300. The inaugural edition of the research guide ranks online retailers by the percentage of traffic to their sites that comes from social networks.

Four of the top 50 e-commerce operators in the guide are flash e-retailers: specialty and gift e-retailer Fab.com (No. 2); kids and moms apparel and accessories retailer Totsy.com (No. 4); housewares and home furnishings seller One Kings Lane (No. 12); and women’s fashion and home décor retailer ideeli Inc. (No. 42).

According to the Social Media 300, its flash-sale leader, Fab.com, attracts 25% of its traffic from social networks—the vast majority coming via Facebook, with a sliver from both Twitter and Pinterest. By comparison, the guide’s top e-retailer, PetFlow.com, attracts 30% of its traffic from social networks.

That traffic translates into 750,000 monthly unique visitors per month for Fab.com, according to an Internet Retailer calculation based on data from Compete Inc. In 2012, Fab.com’s sales from social commerce amounted to an Internet Retailer-estimated $50 million.

When it comes to Twitter, Fab.com also beats those other three top flash e-retailers, even though only 0.25% of its traffic comes from the microblogging site. That’s better than PetFlow.com, which doesn’t generate a measurable percentage of traffic from Twitter, according to the guide’s data.

For Pinterest—the social network where consumers can “pin” images and pictures of products they like from around the web—Totsy.com has made more progress than the other top flash e-retailers in the Social Media 300, with 0.72% of its site traffic coming from Pinterest. That compares with 0.55% for Fab.com, 0.35% for One Kings Lane, and 0.18% for ideeli. PetFlow.com doesn’t generate a measurable percentage of traffic Pinterest, according to the guide’s data.

For those other top flash e-retailers trailing Fab.com in the guide, the data also show that:

• Tosty.com gains 15.44% of its site traffic from Facebook

• One Kings Lane attracts 9.90% of its site traffic from Facebook

Ideeli acquires 6.35% of its site traffic from Facebook


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