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What Drives eCommerce? The Answers May Surprise You

Posted in Domain Names, Marketing, SoapBox, Social Networking

–Dan Kelly, Attorney

A couple of weeks ago, Forrester Research issued a report called “The Purchase Path of Online Buyers in 2012.”  The report has a great deal of interesting information, two pieces of which underscore points I have hammered here for a while.  First, the report notes that “[d]irect traffic is critical to sales:”

While explicit interactive marketing tactics are critical to sales, a significant portion of buyers visit sites directly by typing in the retailer’s URL. . . . Across both new and repeat customer segments, direct load was an influence in approximately 30% of transactions.

The bold emphasis is mine.  Many companies do not pay attention to the risks of typosquatting until it happens to a key domain that the company cares about.  The cost of preventing this by buying and holding key typographical domain variants will almost certainly be cheaper than using formal procedures, either a UDRP or ACPA action, to get just one typosquatted domain back from a bad actor.  People directly navigate on the Internet all the time.  Make sure that they find you.

Second point.  I have predicted the demise of online social networks here (with a revisit here).  While I have not seized every opportunity to try to prove my point (i.e. the Facebook IPO debacle–not necessarily proof of my thesis, but clearly not a ringing endorsement of the long-term viability of online social networks), the Forrester report also has this gem:

[F]ewer than 1% of transactions for both new and repeat shoppers could be traced back to trackable social links.

Out of all touchpoints that this study tracked (direct navigation, organic search, paid search, e-mail marketing, display ads, etc.), social marketing finished dead last.  Just sayin’.