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Facebook Leads Competitors for Last-Click Social Commerce

But multitouch attribution models show a more complicated picture

October 30, 2017

The vast majority of social commerce buyers are making their purchases from Facebook, according to new research from Open Influence.

Its October 2017 poll of US social media users found that 47.7% of respondents had made their most recent purchase from the social networking giant, far more than any other platform. Instagram ranked a distant second with 8.6%, followed by YouTube (4.5%) and Pinterest (2.1%).

Social Media Platform on Which US Social Media Users Last Made a Purchase Directly from a Social Media Post*, Oct 2017 (% of respondents)

Open Influence also found that fashion and apparel was the top product category for social commerce purchases, at 32.4%. Food and beverage was the second most popular product category, making up 17.9% of purchases via social media.

But Open Influence’s survey data is more reflective of a last-click attribution model that doesn’t account for social media’s potential for less obvious influence along the consumer path to purchase. While more complicated to track, multitouch attribution can give brands and other merchants a better sense of how social media is aiding conversions.

For instance, an August 2017 survey from ViSenze found that nearly half of US social media users made some type of purchase that started on social media at least once per month.

ViSenze also found that Facebook was the primary influencer on purchases made by social media users. Nearly one-third of respondents said Facebook had an impact on their purchases.

Primary Social Media Platform that Influences US Social Media Users to Make a Purchase Decision, Aug 2017 (% of respondents)

But other social media platforms also had an impact—even if they weren’t the last place shoppers visited before completing a purchase. Pinterest was described as having an effect on purchases by 16.4% of respondents, while Instagram was named by 12.5%.

Some social media platforms are also expanding the notion of social commerce by creating their own ecommerce platforms, just as Facebook did last October with the launch of its consumer-to-consumer offering, dubbed Marketplace. The platform pairs localization data with friends and family connections to surface items in close physical proximity to digital shoppers, making a potential purchase that much easier.

Facebook appears to have found some success with Marketplace. TechCrunch recently reported that the company added some 18 million product listings to the platform in the US in May alone, with communications between buyers and sellers also reportedly surging in the first half of 2017. And just this week Facebook created a new section of Marketplace dedicated solely to the sale of vehicles.

Rahul Chadha


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