Findings spotlight the growing imperative brands have to create contextual experiences across devices and channels.

PHILADELPHIA (May 22, 2013) — Monetate, a customer experience engine that leverages big data to create personalized online experiences, today announced the latest release of the Ecommerce Quarterly, (EQ1 2013). This quarter’s report takes a deep look at social commerce trends, examines the growing importance of tablets and smartphones in ecommerce, and reviews the emerging opportunity with U.S. military online shoppers.

The EQ also includes over a dozen benchmark reports about consumer online behavior, and a breakdown of online shopping behaviors by state.  This edition of the EQ also includes commentary from digital marketing experts Jay Baer and Mitch Joel.

(Download a free copy of the Monetate EQ1 2013 here.)

Among the report’s key insights:

  • Social media is lagging as direct traffic source to ecommerce websites and for online purchases, despite brand investment. Social media represented just 1.55 percent of all ecommerce traffic, way behind search (31.43 percent) and trailing email (2.82 percent). And social media traffic numbers were down from Q1, 2012, when they were 2.36 percent. The data lead to the question: Should brands change their approach to social marketing?

  • Tablets and smartphones are grabbing more device share of ecommerce traffic. Tablets and smartphones were 21.02 percent of traffic, compared to just 2 percent two years ago. Tablets (10.58 percent) led smartphones (10.44 percent) in ecommerce traffic. Despite the rapidly increasing traffic being driven to sites through tablets and smartphones, only 14 percent of companies optimize for tablet users and only 13 percent optimize for smartphone, compared with 43 percent that personalize for desktop users, based on a recent Econsultancy survey.

  • It pays to market to U.S. military personnel. The numbers show conversion rates among military personnel in the U.S. (5.15 percent), Europe (4.30 percent) and Asia (3.57 percent) were significantly higher than the overall U.S. consumer segment (2.53 percent). And the average order value of military personnel was 23.39 percent higher than shoppers across the U.S.

“As marketers know, data can tell a story and the EQ1 2013 tells the story of a fast-growing ecommerce market where companies face growing opportunities and challenges,” said Blair Lyon, vice president, marketing, Monetate. “We focused this EQ on social commerce since the data shows the companies have not yet cracked the code in leveraging social media to drive ecommerce traffic. We know that social media plays an important role in influencing social purchases – to what degree brands are able to leverage social to build loyalty is the next big question.”

The Ecommerce Quarterly is a trend report that provides retailers with a snapshot of the changing shopping habits of the American consumer. The EQ analyzes a random sample of more than 500 million online shopping experiences using “same store” data across each calendar quarter. Averages throughout the EQ are calculated across the entire sample. Key performance indicators such as average order value and conversion rate will vary by industry/market type. These averages are published only to support the analysis in each release of the EQ and are not intended to be benchmarks for any ecommerce business.