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Pinterest Could Prompt More Consumer Purchases

4 Apr, 2012 By: Jackie Jones

PALO ALTO, Calif. – While Pinterest has been quick to gain popularity among Internet users, debate has continued over what the new social media site could do for marketers. However, new research suggests that the relative newcomer to social media circles could generate sales and leads for companies.

Twenty-one percent of Pinterest users reported purchasing a product after seeing a picture of it on the site, according to a PriceGrabber survey. Additionally, when consumers reported purchasing a product directly after seeing it on Pinterest, 33 percent were in the food and cooking category; 32 percent were from fashion and clothing; 30 percent from home decorating; and 26 percent within the crafts category, according to PriceGrabber.

A separate eMarketer survey also recently showed that as Pinterest gains traction for consumers, it also was for publisher’s referral traffic. Sites such as Tumblr, Meebo and Pinterest are not only referring traffic to social media giants Facebook and Twitter, but also gaining viewers of their own in return. In addition to retail sites bolstered by holiday traffic, Meebo and Pinterest were two social sites increasing in influence, according to data from Compete, which showed Meebo’s U.S. referral traffic to Facebook grew 314.5 percent in November 2011 when compared to the previous month, while Pinterest’s referrals rose 57.2 percent (Response This Week, March 14, 2012).

“Referral traffic is interesting to follow,” said eMarketer analyst Kimberly Maul. “Pinterest and StumbleUpon allow you to go from site to site to site quickly; but Google, Facebook and Twitter require a little more effort because you have to click the ‘Like’ or ‘Share’ button.”

Pinterest is gaining users at a particularly rapid rate, according to eMarketer.

“The top sites visited by U.S. Internet users after visiting Pinterest included several social networks: Facebook, 13.9 percent of the time; Blogspot, 8.7 percent of the time; Tumblr, 1.7 percent of the time; and Etsy, 1.6 percent of the time, according to Compete,” eMarketer’s report said. “As a visual-focused social network, it makes sense that Pinterest would refer traffic to other sites with photos and visuals, such as Tumblr and Etsy.”

There is significant room for growth, the PriceGrabber survey made sure to note. About 58 percent of consumers do not currently have a Pinterest account, and 32 percent report not being familiar with the site. Of those who don’t have an account, 89 percent said they don’t plan to sign up for one.


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