Nearly one-third (32%) of online buyers in North America have made a purchase after seeing an image on a social image-sharing site, according to a survey by Bizrate Insights. And consumers are not only more likely to buy from social image-sharing sites like Pinterest – they are also more likely to follow brands on Pinterest (vs. Twitter or Facebook). The Bizrate Insights research also supports findings from a BlogHer survey in March 2012, which revealed that women were more likely to make purchases based on recommendations from Pinterest, as opposed to Facebook or Twitter.
According to Bizrate Insights, over 37% of online consumers have heard of at least one of the most popular social image sharing sites, including Pinterest, Juxtapost, Discoveredd, Fancy and Polyvore. Pinterest leads in both awareness and visitation, with 36% aware and 19% visiting.
The survey found that out of the 32% who made a purchase from an image on a social-sharing site, 26% did so by clicking from the image through to the retailer’s site. The other 6% had to look for the product on another site in order to make a purchase (clicking the image did not lead to the retailer’s site.)
Another 27% saw items they’re interested in, but didn’t take the time to look for those products on retail sites, and 10% had trouble finding the products they wanted to purchase.
The survey makes it clear that consumers are buying products after seeing images on sites like Pinterest – and that consumers would buy even more if those images linked easily to the retailer’s site. And likelihood of purchase isn’t the only reason brands should be paying close attention to their presence on Pinterest. The 2012 Social and Mobile Commerce Study shows that American consumers are more likely to follow brands on Pinterest than on Twitter or Facebook.
U.S. consumers online follow an average of 9.3 retail companies on Pinterest, compared to 6.9 retailers on Facebook and 8.5 retailers on Twitter. Overall, 38% of online consumers follow retailers through one or more social networking sites. Adding to the mix, more than two-thirds (68%) of consumers use YouTube to browse and research a retail company.
What are the main motivations behind following brands on social networks? This year, 51% follow a retailer to get information on deals and coupons, down from 58% last year. Four in 10 (43%) are looking for product information and over one-third (36%) want to post/read comments about merchandise or services. Additionally, approximately 3 in 10 consumers who follow retailers via social media say they are actively looking for information about events (34%), current trends and ideas (31%), or photos and videos (30%).