Window shopping Pinterest users seek out retailers

Around two-thirds of Pinterest users sign up to the social scrapbooking network specifically to identify potential purchases or engage with brands, a study found.

BizRate Insights’ ‘Online Consumer Pulse’ compared the shopping and brand engagement behaviour of  Pinterest and Facebook users, finding that in addition to generating a huge amount of referral traffic, Pinterest users are far more likely to ‘window shop’ than their Facebook counterparts.

The website monitoring company surveyed 1248 Pinterest users and 4738 Facebook users in North Amercia, revealing 69% of Pinterest users buy or plan to buy an item they found on the social network, compared to 40% of Facebook users.

In addition, 70% of Pinterest users cite ‘to get inspiration on what to buy’ as a main reason for using the social network, while only 17% of Facebook users reported the same motivation.

While Pinterest’s member base cannot compare to Facebook’s billion-plus users, it continues to grow. According to Australian statistics compiled by Social Media News, Pinterest was the eleventh-most visited social network in September, commanding 640,000 active monthly users.  Engagement with the site ranked higher than its user base though – fifth among social media sites with an average of 13 minutes spent per visit.

When it comes to engaging with brands, Pinterest users do so differently than Facebook, with the latter more likely to passively participate with a brand, join a contest, or claim special offers. Pinterest users are much more active evangelists, re-pinning a brand’s posts or pinning items they find at a brand’s website, the study found.

Pinterest also appears to be the stronger vehicle for brand association. A greater percent (55%) of Pinterest users have engaged with retailers and brands via Pinterest, compared to the percent of Facebook users that engage retailers or brands on Facebook (48%).  43% of Pinterest members consciously use the network to ‘associate with retailers or brands with which I identify’, compared to just 24% of Facebook users.

The scrapbooking site is used ‘to keep up with the latest trends on things I like (e.g., fashion, home décor, other interests)’ for 67% of ‘pinners’.

BizRate’s study was conducted between August 9 and August 17, 2012.