While Facebook continues to provide more retail traffic and page views to e-commerce sites, Pinterest is proving to have strengths of its own. The new social network is expanding its presence, and members of its site are likely to spend more than those of other social networks.

Pinterest members are more likely to spend than Facebook users

Social networks are driving retail traffic, but despite Facebook being the most popular channel, Pinterest is revealing itself to have important usage characteristics. A study from RichRelevance further describes how Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter perform at generating socially-driven shopping. Most shoppers come from Facebook than from either other site, and stay on the site longer, but Pinterest has been increasing in presence both for conversion rates and revenue per visit. Pinterest members also deliver the highest in average order value - with a typical shopping cart of $169 - Facebook users’ AOV is $95, and Twitter users’ are $71.

Pinterest’s power lies in its image-based interface…

At present, the most established social network brings by far the largest volume of e-commerce. Facebook provides 86 percent of shopping sessions to retail sites, the newer Pinterest routes 11 percent of sessions (Twitter only brings 3 percent). RichRelevance suggests Pinterest’s image-based interface is more engaging for inspiring purchases than Twitter’s text-based one. Additionally, Facebook users have a typical session of 7 pageviews, Pinterest has 4.1, and Twitter has 2.7. Same-session conversion rates still show Facebook ahead, with an average of 2.6 percent, but this rate has declined from the beginning of 2012 - from about 3 percent in January to just over 2 percent in August. Meanwhile, Pinterest increased its conversion rate from 0.8 percent to 1.2 percent in that same time period.

…And its members, who spend a lot

While the above numbers show how Pinterest is increasing its presence while still in the minority, the pinboard network is already outperforming the older sites in some ways. Due to Pinterest members being higher spenders on average, revenue-by-session has been higher in the last few months. While AOV has been higher from Pinterest all year than Facebook by a huge margin, in June and July Pinterest surpassed Facebook in revenue generated by visit, and in August the two networks performed about the same. By focusing on the strengths of the social networks, brands can tailor their strategy depending on a focus on audience size or shopping cart size.


By Ivory King