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Online Consumer Pulse Pinterest vs. Facebook: Which Social Sharing Site Wins at Shopping Engagement?

While Pinterest has established itself as the dominant source for visual inspiration in today’s social scape, questions continue to circle about whether the site can actually generate conversions. As part of its series on Social Image Sharing and Online Shopping, Bizrate Insights continues to delve into how consumers connect with retailers on Pinterest. In this third installment, we compare and contrast Facebook and Pinterest with respect to shopping conversions and product inspiration.

Pinterest is better at inspiring purchases than Facebook

While both Pinterest and Facebook are sites online consumers visit to connect with people who have similar styles and interests, Pinterest is more often used as a destination for shopping inspiration, tracking, and product discovery. 69% of online consumers who visit Pinterest have found an item they’ve purchased or wanted to purchase as compared to only 40% of online consumers who visit Facebook. Additionally, significantly more online consumers agree that Pinterest is a place to “get inspiration on what to buy,” “help keep track of or collect things I like,” and “to keep up with the latest trends on things that I like.”

Pinterest also appears to be the stronger vehicle for brand association. 43% of Pinterest members agree that they use Pinterest to “associate with retailers or brands with which I identify,” compared to just 24% of Facebook users who agree to the same use with Facebook.

Activities with brands & retailers varies by social media platform

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%). But how customers engage differs for each of the two platforms. Pinterest users are more likely to be “Creators”: adding and sharing retailer/brand related content, while Facebook users are more likely to be “Participators”: interacting with promotional activities developed by retailers and brands.

Facebook still dominates in awareness and usage among online consumers

Facebook still significantly surpasses Pinterest in reach. The latest data from September 2012 shows that 63% of online consumers have a Facebook account; only 15% of online consumers have a Pinterest account. That said, awareness of Pinterest among online consumers continues to trend upwards. In August 2012, 46% of online consumers report that they have heard of Pinterest, up from 39% in May and 36% in March.

About the Study

The Bizrate Insights Social Image Sharing and Online Shopping Series is a set of surveys conducted via the Bizrate Insights survey platform and offered to online buyers immediately after purchasing from the Bizrate Insights Network of over 5,200 ecommerce retailers in the US and Canada. Data from this study was collected from 7,431 online buyers from August 9-August 17, 2012.

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