Reddit’s underutilized e-commerce marketing impact

At first glance, Reddit may not seem like an obvious choice as a channel for product marketing, but statistics show that traffic referred to e-commerce sites by Reddit drives a whole lot of sales.

According to data from SimilarWeb PRO, Reddit referred 5.2 million visits to 140 different Shopping category websites over the past year, totaling 1.1% of all Reddit outbound traffic. The most referrals went to Amazon and e-bay, followed by Etsy and J.Crew.

Reddit also accounts for a relatively large share of these online shops’ referrals. Over 3.5% of Amazon’s total traffic comes from Reddit, from subreddits dedicated to topics such as “Frugal Male Fashion,” “Game Deals” and “The Best of Amazon.”

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The top ten subreddits referring users to Amazon

Moreover, nearly 0.5% of e-bay’s social media traffic originates with Reddit.

According to research by Shopify, although Facebook drives more sales than any other social networking site, Reddit dominates electronics and appliances e-commerce, accounting for 31% of social media-referred electronics sales. SimilarWeb does show Reddit as having a huge share of social referrals to sites in the Consumer Electronics category, even beating out the mighty Twitter, but our crawlers are seeing Reddit as driving about half the share that Shopify reported.

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The five social networks that send the most traffic to Consumer Electronics sites

However, it’s important to remember the necessary complexities of attribution models. In addition to the conversions that come directly from Reddit, as with other social networks, many e-commerce sales come indirectly from the site. Even if a customer doesn’t click directly from Reddit to an e-commerce site, the information and recommendations he or she sees on the site may eventually influence the decision to buy.

SimilarWeb’s Audience Interest data shows that the Shopping sites most commonly visited by Reddit’s visitors, are deal shopping sites such as Slick Deals, Woot, Oz Bargain and Hot UK Deals.

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The top Shopping category sites also commonly visited by Reddit users

Marketers are also using Reddit to drive traffic to their company blogs, which ultimately boosts sales on the e-Commerce section of the site.

One reason Reddit is so powerful when it comes to marketing products online is the huge array (6000 active ones, according to one count from last summer) of specific subreddits, which make it easy to gain the attention of a niche audience. Advertising options and the Ask Me Anything (AMA) feature enable marketers to gain exposure to a limited but super relevant audience.

As a Reddit user myself, I believe that despite widespread beliefs to the contrary, Reddit users respond positively to marketing messaging – when it is formulated to fit in well with the platform’s culture. Users don’t appreciate being pushed to buy, but the data proves that marketers who participate actively, helpfully and transparently on relevant subreddits can see huge returns thanks to the Reddit community’s affinity for e-commerce.

About the Author -

Ari is the Sr. Director of Corporate Marketing at SimilarWeb. He has spent the last decade in ad-tech working on the agency side of the business before jumping over to Kenshoo where he launched their marketing activities. He also led the marketing for Adquant, a Facebook ad platform, making it a top 10 Facebook PMD prior to its acquisition.

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