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Clothing Retailers Rely on Search Engine Referrals and Social Media

05 April 2019 - 09:34 by Sarah Collinson

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Sales at sites that let consumers order fashion items via safe shopping online are being fuelled by a combination of search engine prominence and social media sharing, according to a report published by Nosto this week.

Researchers looked into the role that the various platforms play in driving traffic to e-commerce clothing outlets, with organic results and posts having more of an impact than paid campaigns.

Interestingly, less than one per cent of orders made on fashion sites stem from paid social listings, while five per cent of orders originate from posts that customers encounter organically. This suggests that it is better for brands to publish content that people are willing to share themselves rather than paying to have irrelevant posts promoted into the timelines of people who are likely to be indifferent to the messages being delivered.

Search engines like Google are still more important to traffic levels and sales than social media platforms like Instagram, with almost a fifth of orders being provided by organic search. Five per cent come from paid search, showing that there is still some merit in taking this premium approach to getting to the top of the results page.

Many consumers may not even be aware that search engines privileged promoted links over organic results for certain hotly contested keywords. This is especially true in the world of fashion and is a means by which lesser-known brands can compete more effectively with larger rivals that might take the lion’s share of the organic market.

Study spokesperson Jim Lofgren told Internet Retailing that social media services are giving brands the ability to built themselves up effectively and harness new marketing opportunities which do not need to be paid for to prove effective. The enduring potency of organic search is also something that analysts are keen to emphasise.