Social Commerce: A First Look at the Numbers

Measuring social commerce
True social commerce promises to leverage the speed and connectivity of social networks to drive sales transactions. It’s an elusive promise that many companies have struggled to realize, but those that do will disrupt industries and create a new scale of business.

With “Social Commerce: A First Look at the Numbers,” Eventbrite is unveiling the first tangible data to quantify the value and impact of social media in driving eCommerce. We are tracking a new set of metrics that measure social commerce success and are excited to share them with the industry. In doing so we hope to spark conversation and begin to set standards and benchmarks around this new marketing channel.

Events are inherently social. When people buy tickets for an event, they want to share the experience – and the news – with friends. The social Web fuels the conversation and the communities that arise around live events. This conversation isn’t new, but we are now able to track the resulting transactions with unprecedented granularity.

Eventbrite’s web-based service is the simplest, most effective way to publish events and sell tickets online. Deep and growing integrations with the major social networks mean that the power to drive organic social distribution is finally in the hands of event organizers and attendees. Eventbrite’s tools tap into the world’s overlapping social graphs to spread event news and purchase behavior. These tools are built specifically to empower organizers and attendees alike to turn events into truly social experiences.

For the purposes of this report, Eventbrite defines social commerce as transactions that are driven through sharing on social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and through email sharing via the Eventbrite “email friends” application.

Key findings
The key findings of our analysis include:

  • Sharing equals transactions: Dollars per share

When someone shares an event with their friends through social media, this action results in real dollars. Our most recent data shows that over the past 12 weeks, one share on Facebook equals $2.52, a share on Twitter equals $0.43, a share on LinkedIn equals $0.90, and a share through our ”email friends” application equals $2.34. On an aggregate level across Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, and our email share tool, each share equals $1.78 in ticket sales. We’re seeing this number improve every week with the most recent four-week average equaling $1.87.

  • It’s extremely sticky: Visits per share

The hyper-relevancy of the social graph breeds deeper engagement, greater sales and stickier audiences. For Eventbrite, Facebook is now the #1 referring site for traffic to the company’s site, surpassing Google as people discover events that their friends are sharing and they click through to find out more. On average each Facebook share drives 11 visits back to Eventbrite.com. Averaging across all channels, one share drives over 7 visits back to Eventbrite.com.

  • It’s happening everywhere, across all sizes and types of events: Consistency of sharing

Sharing is consistent across event size. Sharing occurs at the same rate an event has 10 or 10,000 people. Classes/workshops and networking events have the most share activity, followed by fundraisers, conferences, and music events.

 

What it Looks Like

How we did it
We use a custom suite of social analytics tools that we have developed entirely in-house. Our reporting lets us track and analyze not only which sharing options our users leverage, but where on our site each share action takes place. These tools also tie back into our conversion funnels, so we are able to attribute ticket purchases to the specific social distribution channel that drove them. So, for example, we can compare not just the value created by a Facebook “Like” vs. a tweet, but also the performance of shares initiated before or after a purchase.

Summary: Social commerce is the next big thing
Social commerce takes online commerce to a new level. It marries the natural act of sharing and socializing with friends and the act of buying something online. Social commerce brings together social promotion and transactions into a single, unified experience, which breaks the old rules of eCommerce and demands new metrics. And the exciting news is that this is just the beginning. Look for more reports from Eventbrite in the coming months. We’re also keen to hear your thoughts and feedback on the subject.