The knock on social media was that it would never drive a lot of paying customers to retail sites, because people are on social networks to connect with friends, not to shop.
But Pinterest is proving to be an exception to that rule. The company’s announcement yesterday that it would begin experimenting with “Promoted Pins” will cause major retailers to rejoice. Here’s why:
- Pinterest users make the largest purchases among customers referred to e-commerce sites by social media, with an average order value of $US93 in this year’s second quarter, according to Monetate. (See chart, below.)
- It also accounts for 23% of all social media-driven e-commerce sales, despite being a significantly smaller social network than Twitter or Facebook.
- Pinterest has been shown to increase offline purchasing too, and is emerging as a “showrooming killer,” by driving online browsers to shop at brick-and-mortar stores.
At BI Intelligence, Business Insider’s paid subscription service, we recently analysed over 25 datasets culled from a variety of sources to probe the viability of social media as a commerce and retail-driver. We published our insights in two recent reports, “How Social Commerce Is Going After The Entire Purchase Funnel,” and “The New Art Of Social Commerce: How Brands And Retailers Are Converting Tweets, Pins, And Likes Into Sales.”
Subscribers also gain access to over 100 in-depth reports and hundreds of charts and datasets on mobile, social, and their impact across industries, including retail.
While e-mail, search and other sources of customers, or “referrals,” are still more effective as referral sources, social media is gaining. Customers referred by social media are making larger and larger purchases, $US87 on average in the second quarter, or $US11 more than a year before.
Pinterest’s move toward ads also comes days after Instagram’s CEO suggested that the photo-sharing service might also position itself as a social commerce platform for brands and retailers.
To access BI Intelligence’s full report, The New Art Of Social Commerce: How Brands And Retailers Are Converting Tweets, Pins, And Likes Into Sales, sign up for a free trial subscription here. Subscribers also gain access to over 100 in-depth reports on social and mobile, and hundreds of charts and datasets.