According to a recent article published on, the most successful drivers of e-Commerce are quite surprising and vary greatly, depending on exactly which behaviors are considered. The data was compiled by Yotpo from 65 million online orders, totaling $2 billion in transactions.

They analyzed both the source of the transactions, and the time spent once the user arrived – the two perspectives yielded very different results. When only the source was analyzed, Direct Marketing yielded a massive 40% of e-

Commerce traffic, however this source encompasses shoppers who typed the web address into their browser AND sources that couldn’t otherwise be identified. Not surprisingly, a close second to Direct is Search, wherein the shopper used a search engine to look up an item they ultimately bought.

Since these two categories alone comprise nearly 75% of the data AND consist solely of consumers who knew exactly what they wanted, looked it up, and subsequently bought it, it seems more useful to examine the study’s data on Average Seconds on Site Per Visit.

Using this metric, it’s easier to see how marketing efforts on different platforms drive undecided consumers to SHOP and ultimately, buy. When Time Spent is examined, the results are much closer:

Time spent per channel

This analysis puts Instagram in the lead and pushes Direct and Search down to 4th and 5th places, respectively. When looking at Time Spent vs. only the Traffic Source, you can evaluate both the sources AND the quality of the traffic simultaneously, giving you a much better idea of what is driving actual e-Commerce dollars spent.

As with any market analysis, carefully consider both the source and quality of customer you’re looking to acquire, as all clicks are not created equal.