Pinterest is Not Influencing Purchasing Decisions

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It is no secret that Pinterest has taken the Internet by storm, reaching the elevated status of a top 30 site according to Hitwise. A new study, however, reveals that the social sharing site is not actually influencing consumer purchasing decisions - at leaset not directly.

The study from Prosper Mobile Insights shows that only 13 percent of survey respondents either somewhat or strongly agree that Pinterest influences their purchasing decisions.

And although the social pin board site has gained a lot of traffic in a short period of time, receiving an average of 89 minutes of time spent on site per visitor in January alone according to comScore, it is not enough to catapult Pinterest into a top player in the mobile social shopping arena. 

In fact, social shopping in general on mobile hasn’t fully taken off. According to the study, approximately 85 percent of respondents claim to look up product information on their smartphones and tablets; however only 4.7 percent of these people first visit a social media site for this information. Most respondents (43.7%) use general Internet search when browsing product information on their mobile device.

“Although social shopping is not yet prominent, mobile shopping is,” says Pam Goodfellow, Consumer Insights Director at BIGinsight. “General Internet searches, visiting retailer websites, and using apps to compare prices on the fly are the new norm for mobile-savvy shoppers.”

Perhaps the new iPad app and redesigned profiles that Pinterest is reportedly planning to release will spike consumer’s interest in browsing pinboards for product purchases. However, retailers and website owners can view all images that others have pinned from their website by adding their website's URL (sans the http://www.) into the second half of the Pinterest source URL. For example:


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Doug B NH Seo & Online Marketing 03-15-2012 1:43 PM

"A new study however reveals that the social sharing site is not actually influencing consumer purchasing decisions - at least not directly."

The key here is at least not directly - Marketing 101 -

"Repeated interactions that strengthen the emotional, psychological or physical investment a customer has in a brand."

Pinterest is also still relatively new.

KentA 03-20-2012 6:07 PM

I agree with DouglasB.  It often takes time for "branding" type marketing to influence buyers. I expect that as Pinterest becomes more prevalent (ie, after having to get invites or request access), and as marketers devise more ways to utilize the technology, consumer purchasing decisions may be influenced more. I think the best use of this study is to be used as a baseline.  Maybe a 1 year comparison might be more meaningful

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