More businesses are using Pinterest to attract consumers, according to a survey from shop.org.
According to the 2012 Social and Mobile Commerce study, Pinterest has become a huge player in social media – online consumers report that they follow and average of 9.3 retail companies on the site, compared to the average 6.9 retailers they follow on Facebook and the 8.5 retailers they track via Twitter.
Overall, 38 percent of online consumers follow retailers through one or more social networking sites.
However, the study shows that retailers must customize their approach in using social media and mobile strategies. The survey found that company blogs, YouTube and Facebook command the majority of consumers’ social activities. In particular, seven in 10 of those who follow a retailer’s blog click through to the website, and more than two-thirds of consumers use YouTube to browse and research a retail company.
“Retailers have done a commendable job embracing social media – engaging their customers where it makes sense while keeping their brand relevant, interesting, appealing and exciting on each platform,” said Shop.org Executive Director Vicki Cantrell. “Specifically, 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.”
When it comes to what spurs consumers to follow retailers on social media platforms, the study found that finding good deals is still the leading reason, but that deals and promotions have lost a little bit of their luster.
This year, 51 percent say they follow a retailer to get information on deals and coupons, down from 58 percent who said so last year. Four in 10 say they are looking for product information and 36 percent want to post/read comments about merchandise or services. Additionally, three in 10 consumers who follow retailers via social media say they are actively looking for information about events, current trends and ideas or photos and videos, such as “how-to’s” and styling ideas, as well as expert opinions.
“There are significant new opportunities for retailers to entice smartphone owners who may be within a few feet of their store — or already in the store — thanks to technology that lets shoppers who want to hear from retailers instantly interact with them,” said Jennifer Vlahavas, Senior Director, comScore, Inc. “And while check-in and store location functionality are already gaining popularity, retailers have just begun to scratch the surface of using location data to better serve their customers. In-store shopping maps and customized shopping lists are a few of the emerging mobile technologies that promise to shape consumers’ future behavior.”