Email & Search Drive Web Sales

Promotional emails and search engine results, not social media as originally believed, were the main reason shoppers headed to the top 40 retailers’ websites last year, according to a new report. Some 19 percent of respondents to a survey by, Foresee Results, visited a retail site because of a promotional email, while eight percent went to a site because of a search result. Few of those polled credited social media for guiding them to a particular retail site, the report said.

“Only about five percent of online holiday shoppers report being primarily influenced to visit top retailer sites by social media channels, yet retailers continue to put vast resources into this type of marketing,” Larry Freed, president and CEO of ForeSee Results, said in a statement. “Meanwhile, 19 percent came to the website primarily as a result of a promotional email, and eight percent as a result of search engine results, suggesting that tried and true online marketing tactics should not be abandoned or ignored in favor of newer media.”

Among other findings of the report:

Customer Satisfaction Matters. Highly satisfied shoppers say they are 61 percent more likely to buy from that retailer online, and 35 percent more likely to buy offline, as well as being far more likely to return to the site, recommend it, and be loyal to the brand.

Price Matters Less to Customers than Most Retailers Think. Price is not often as big a deal as conventional wisdom suggests.  Sometimes something else can be a bigger factor in a purchase decision.

Looking at revenue, clicks and hits are not the best ways for a retailer to increase their customers’ likelihood to buy. To download the complete report for free, go to