Social Commerce: A Look From Our London Office

As Eventbrite expands internationally, we are closely watching user behavior on social networks. In the US, Facebook is the number one driver of traffic to Eventbrite (Google is number two), and we saw the impact of social media on our business very early on.

As we like to say, events are inherently social – people like to tell their friends and colleagues about upcoming events – and social media amplifies this highly viral eCommerce category. In the case of Eventbrite, as event attendees share event information through social media, we are able to track that activity and tie it back to transactions – what we call social commerce.

We began tracking our social commerce numbers in October of 2010 with our first social commerce report. Since then we’ve taken a closer look at sharing behavior and impact by event type and how it is effected by the point in the purchase process. But now that we have a UK office  and are expanding globally, we thought it was time to take another look at our social commerce numbers, this time comparing activity in the US to the activity in the UK.

Social media profiles look roughly the same

Overall, Facebook users in the US and the UK look relatively similar demographically, with roughly 50% population penetration in both countries.  According to an infographic published in All Facebook by Blinq Media and Visual.ly, the main difference in the users is the brands that they like, Brits favoring Burberry, Skittles, and The Cadbury Cream Egg, while Americans choose to give their “likes” to Starbucks, Xbox, and McDonalds.

Key findings

Like in the US, Facebook has the highest value per share in the UK. When someone shares a UK event on Facebook, on average it generates £2.25 in additional gross ticket sales. A share on Twitter drives an average of £1.80, and an event shared on LinkedIn generates an average of £1.24 in additional event revenue. This speaks to the relative strengths of these social networks in the UK. And comparing these values shows that, just as it does in the US, sharing event information on Facebook  is most likely to generate additional ticket sales for an event, because the connections we have on Facebook most closely represent the people we actually know and spend time with offline.

While social commerce impact is greater on average in the US, it varies by social network.

On Eventbrite, adjusting for currency, ticket prices over the past twelve months cost about 36% more in the UK than in the US, on average. However, the social commerce value per share is only 24% higher in the UK. When someone shares an Eventbrite event through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn in the UK, it generates an average £1.77 in additional ticketing revenue for the event organizer, while in the US, one share generates an average of £1.42 across the three platforms. To take into account the difference in average ticket price, we can look this value per share in terms of a social commerce ratio: value per share/average order value. In the UK this ratio yields .032 while in the US the ratio is .035, showing that in aggregate a share in the US has a slightly greater revenue impact than a share in the UK.

 

We see an interesting divergence between social networks. If we convert all the numbers to Pounds Sterling, we see that the social commerce impact from Facebook is actually stronger in the US, while Twitter and LinkedIn are stronger in the UK (see Figure 1). The Facebook social commerce ratio is .041 while in the US it is .064. In other words, a Facebook share in the US, is 56% more impactful. Twitter is almost 10% more impactful in the UK than the US, while LinkedIn is 95% more impactful in the UK.

As we continue to expand into more countries, we’ll be watching these social commerce numbers closely to more clearly understand social networking behavior as it differs across geographies.