Social E-Shopping by the Numbers: Why RDs Need to Get Involved

Social E-Shopping by the Numbers: Why RDs Need to Get Involved

August 24, 2016

By RDBA Contributing Editor Amanda Rubizhevsky, MPH, NC

Social is driving much bigger increases in retail traffic than any other online channel. According to, social media increased its share of e-commerce referrals nearly 200% between the first quarters of 2014 and 2015. For retail dietitians, social media continues to grow as a way to engage with shoppers, promote retail RD programs and services, and boost sales.  Now new initiatives from a number of different social networks are making these platforms absolutely essential if you want to drive sales and boost engagement; here’s what you need to know: 

The top 500 retailers earned $3.3 billion from social shopping in 2014, up 26% from 2013, according to the Internet Retailer's Social Media 500. Social media’s impact is becoming impossible to ignore. Social-driven retail sales and referral traffic are rising at a faster pace than all other online channels. 

  • Make sure your content is mobile friendly. Social media users are 35 percent less likely to share a brand or retailer’s social post on mobile than they are on desktop. Seize the opportunity and make it easier for shoppers by teaming up with your tech team to make shares seamless on mobile. 
  • Focus on Facebook; the platform continues to take the lead as the dominant social commerce platform. Facebook accounts for 50 percent of total social referrals and 64 percent of total social revenue. Make daily Facebook posts interactive, using posts to entice shoppers into your store with tasty, healthy and fresh ideas.   
  • Despite the relatively small user base, Pinterest is a major social commerce player. It drives 16 percent of social revenue despite an audience 6.5 times smaller than Twitter. Keep a look out for new “buy it” and action buttons on retailer posts, making Pinterest an even stronger referral and revenue engine.
  • Should you be using Instagram? The photo driven platform doesn’t drive significant sales activity but is used extensively by high-end companies for branding purposes. Instagram ads could make the app a more important direct-response driver and something you might want to consider to boost your RD brand.

For more check out this article on Calculating the ROI of Social Media.