Pinterest Attracts Followers and Purchases Follow
According to a new study, U.S. online consumers follow an average of 9.3 retailers on the Pinterest image-sharing social network compared to 6.9 retailers on Facebook and 8.5 via Twitter.
Overall, the 2012 Social and Mobile Commerce Study, a joint research project by Shop.org, comScore and The Partnering Group, found that almost two out of five (38 percent) online consumers follow retailers through one or more social networking sites.
"Pinterest has given retailers another channel to ‘listen’ to and interact with both existing and new customers, telling an ongoing visual story through images of their products and their brand ‘spirit’ — a story that customers can then tell again to their friends and family members," said Vicki Cantrell, executive director at Shop.org.
Another survey supporting Pinterest from the behavioral commerce company SteelHouse found that Pinterest users are 79 percent more likely to purchase items they saw pinned on Pinterest versus Facebook users. Thirty-three percent of Facebook users said they have purchased a product or service they’ve seen in a Facebook ad, on the news feed, or on a friend’s wall, in comparison to the 59 percent of Pinterest users who have made a purchase based on an item they saw on Pinterest.
However, the SteelHouse survey found that Facebook remains consumers’ top choice for getting ideas on what products and/or services to purchase and is also the preferred choice for social product sharing. More than one half of those surveyed said they regularly share their online purchases. Fifty-five percent of shoppers prefer to share their purchases on Facebook, followed by Twitter (22 percent), Pinterest (14 percent), and Instagram (five percent).
Self described as a "virtual pinboard," Pinterest, launched in 2010, is a content-sharing service that allows members to "pin" images, videos and other objects to their pinboard. The images can be linked to articles or web content.
The following of retailers and subsequent purchasing has apparently brought back the old debate around the value of visual (Pinterest and Instagram) versus the literary (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) with respect to the social world. Critics and Facebook fans see Pinterest lacking the conversations that build true customer relationships.
Speaking to Forbes, however, N. Venkat Venkatraman, a business professor at Boston University, pointed to the irony that "photographs of products pinned and liked and shared can be more readily connected with offers from companies than text conversations on Facebook."
- Survey Finds Consumers Using Pinterest to Engage With Retailers More Than Facebook, Twitter – Shop.org
- Pinterest Users Nearly Twice as Likely to Purchase Than Facebook Users, SteelHouse Survey Shows – SteelHouse
- Pin Up: Pinterest a Hit for Foodies, Recipe Seekers – Supermarket News
- Rakuten Leads Investment In Pinterest – Rakuten
- Dial brand launches its "Move the Dial" Pinterest contest – Dial/MarketWatch
Discussion Questions: What do you make of Pinterest’s early success in driving retail purchases? What’s your overall take on the retail value of visual-driven social networks (Pinterest, Instagram) versus conversation-driven ones (Facebook, Twitter)?