Social networks drive more traffic to retailers

UK etailers are attracting more and more business from social networking sites like Facebook, Bebo and MySpace, according to new stats from Hitwise.

The data shows that the amount of UK web traffic retailers receive from social networks increased by 153% in the first nine months of this year.

In September, 3.1% of visits to sites in Hitwise’s Shopping and Classifieds category came from the top 25 social networks in the UK.

According to Hitwise, eBay is the main beneficiary – it received almost a third (31.4%) of all downstream traffic from those sites.

The ‘more traditional’ brands, such as department stores and clothing and accessories retailers – are next, respectively receiving 1 in 8 and 1 in 9 of those visits. Music and video & games retailers also do well.

Hitwise’s research director Robin Goad said:

“In terms of internet visits, social networking has grown by over 70% in the UK since last Christmas, and it is starting to have a serious impact on many different types of website.”

According to Hitwise, social networks accounted for 5% of internet visits during September.

It says Facebook is now the fifth most visited URL in the UK and the fifth most popular source of traffic for other websites.

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