A recent survey done by Shop.org, ComScore and The Partnering Group, states that consumers are using photo-sharing site Pinterest even more than Facebook to gather information on retailers, and interact with them.
The “2012 Social and Mobile Commerce Study” reveals that they already follow an average of 9.3 retail companies on Pinterest, compared with the average of 6.9 retailers on Facebook and 8.5 retailers on Twitter.
“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.
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,” said Shop.org executive director Vicki Cantrell.
According to the study, consumers follow retailers on social media sites, mainly to get updates on deals and discounts. However, deals have lost their appeal a bit this year. Compared to the 58% who said that they follow a retailer to get information on deals and coupons, only 51% said so this year.
Additionally, 36% follow retailers to post/read comments about merchandise or services, 34% to get information about events, 31% for current trends and ideas, 30% for photos and videos, and 27% for expert opinions.
The study also talks about the potential of location-based services in reaching out to the target customers.
The study found that 33% of those surveyed have shared their location with retailers. Location-based services, such as Groupon, FourSquare and Facebook can help retailers instantly reach new and existing customers by targeting special offers, discounts and coupons. Men are more likely than women to share their location with a retailer (40% versus 25%, respectively), and nearly half (46%) of those ages 18 to 34 years said they have shared their location, compared with just 22% of those ages 35 to 54 years.
“There are significant new opportunities for retailers to entice smartphone owners who may be within a few feet of their store — or already in the store — thanks to technology that lets shoppers who want to hear from retailers instantly interact with them. And while check-in and store location functionality are already gaining popularity, retailers have just begun to scratch the surface of using location data to better serve their customers. In-store shopping maps and customized shopping lists are a few of the emerging mobile technologies that promise to shape consumers’ future behavior ,” added ComScore senior director Jennifer Vlahavas.