US consumers are more likely to engage with retailers on Pinterest than Facebook or Twitter, according to research released by the National Retail Federation.
On average, US consumers follow an average 9.3 retail companies on Pinterest, compared to 6.9retailers on Facebook or 8.5 on Twitter, a joint research project by Shop.org, comScore and The Partnering Group found.
Some 38% of online consumers surveyed follow retailers through one or more social networking sites.
According to the research, company blogs, YouTube and Facebook command the majority of consumers’ activity. Some 70% of those who follow a company’s blog click through to the website, and though sometimes overlooked in the social media mix, more than 68% 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.”
Finding good deals is still the main driver behind consumers following retailers on social media platforms, but deals and promotions have lost a little bit of their lustre. Some 51% of those surveyed said they follow a retailer to get information on deals and coupons, down from 58% last year.
Some 43% say they are looking for product information and 36% want to post or read comments about merchandise or services.
One-third of consumers surveyed who own smartphones have shared their location with retailers. Location-based services such as Groupon Now! FourSquare and Facebook are helping retailers reach new and existing customers by targeting special offers, discounts and coupons to 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 ComScore Jennifer Vlahavas.
“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 than likely than women to share their location with a retailer, with 40% and 25%, respectively, and nearly half of those aged 18-34 say they have shared their location, compared with just 22% of those aged 35-54.