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Pinterest connecting consumers with brands


June 5, 2012
By Canadian Garden Centre & Nursery

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June 5, 2012, Washington — Customers are using Pinterest to engage with
retailers more than Facebook and Twitter, according to the results of a
new survey.

According to the 2012 Social and Mobile Commerce Study, a joint research
project by Shop.org, comScore and The Partnering Group, the
visually-based social media site Pinterest has become a big player in an
even bigger arena. Online U.S. consumers report that they already
follow an 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, almost two out of five online consumers (38
per cent) follow retailers through one or more social networking sites.

For retailers engaged in the social media sphere, customizing their
approach with social and mobile strategies is leading to social commerce
success. The report reveals that as social media continues to grow,
retailers are actively evaluating where their customers want them to be.

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The survey found company blogs, YouTube and Facebook command the
majority of consumers’ social activity. In particular, seven in 10 (70
per cent) of those who follow a retailer’s blog click through to the
website, and though sometimes overlooked in the overall social media
mix, more than two-thirds of consumers (68 per cent) 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 deals and promotions have lost a little bit of their
luster. This year, 51 per cent say they follow a retailer to get
information on deals and coupons, down from 58 per cent who said so last
year. Four in 10 (43 per cent) say they are looking for product
information and 36 per cent want to post and 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 (34 per cent), current trends and ideas (31 per cent), or
photos and videos (30 per cent), such as how-to’s and styling ideas, and
expert opinions (27 per cent).

Smartphones enable social shopping

Smartphone-toting Americans seem to have no qualms about sharing their
locations with friends and family members through social media channels.

The study also found they are interested in sharing their location with
retailers. One-third of those who own smartphones (33 per cent) say they
have shared their location with retailers. Location-based services,
such as Groupon Now!, FourSquare and Facebook have helped retailers
instantly reach new and existing customers by targeting special offers,
discounts and coupons to their mobile devices once they’ve “checked-in.”

“For retailers, the possibilities are endless when it comes to enticing
smartphone owners who may be within a few feet of their store or even
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 of comScore, Inc. "And while check in and
store location functionality are already gaining popularity, retailers
have only just scratched the surface of using location data to better
serve their customers. In-store shopping maps and customized shopping
lists are a few of the possibilities that will cater to the consumer."

The study found that men are more likely than women to share their
location with a retailer (40 per cent vs. 25 per cent, respectively),
and nearly half (46 per cent) of those aged 18 to 34 say they have
shared their location, compared to just two in 10 (22 per cent) of those
aged 35 to 54.

In very different ways, tablets and smartphones are still an integral
part of the average person’s shopping experience these days. The survey
found those with smartphones are most likely to use their device for
social reasons, such as contacting friends and family about products
they see and searching for items nearby, while tablets are more likely
to be used to make purchases and comparison shop. Specifically, nearly
four in 10 smartphone owners (37 per cent) who shop online say they use
their smartphone to take pictures of products and more than one-third
(34 per cent) said they send the pictures of the products they see to
friends. U.S. online consumers surveyed also say they text and/or call
friends and family about specific products while shopping (33 per cent).

The 2012 Social and Mobile Commerce Study was conducted in March with
1,507 online U.S. consumers. Results were weighted to accurately reflect
U.S. demographics.


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