Looking at the top 40 retailer’s website in the US, ForSee Results found that only 5 per cent of online shoppers said social media primarily influenced their decision to visit the sites even though retailers continue to put vast resources into this type of marketing.

Meanwhile, ForSee Results E-retail Satisfaction Index also found that 19 per cent came to the website primarily as a result of a promotional email and 8 per cent as a result of search engine results.

The firm advised retailers that it’s “tried-and-true online marketing tactics should not be abandoned or ignored in favour of newer media”.

But while some marketing strategies led customers to a website, nearly half of the site visitors were only there to research, not to buy.

“Roughly one-fifth of shoppers prefer to research online and then buy in the store,” the report said.

Additionally, the Index said 14 per cent of shoppers have accessed the website or mobile app via their mobile phone. Those who did so were primarily using their mobile or smart phone to look up prices, compare product specifications, or do product research.

Also, only 2 per cent of all online shoppers actually reported making a purchase from that par­ticular retailer from their mobile phone and a total of 11 per cent reported having made a purchase from their phones this holiday season.