These findings are supported by a pair of studies released in May, which found that Pinterest users outdo Facebook users when it comes to the number of companies they follow and the likelihood of purchasing an item they see on their respective sites.
Engagement Activities Differ by Platform
The Bizrate Insights survey finds that on the whole, online shoppers who use Pinterest are more likely to report engaging with retailers or brands than their Facebook-using counterparts (55% vs. 48%). Yet how these shoppers engage varies significantly by platform.
For example, online shoppers who use Facebook are more than twice as likely as those who use Pinterest (55% vs. 26%) to say they’ve liked or followed a retailer or brand. They’re also more likely to have searched for a specific retailer or brand (30% vs. 23%), browsed photos or pinboards created by retailers or brands (44% vs. 36%), viewed or claimed coupons or sales (30% vs. 9%), and participated in contests or promotions (30% vs. 9%).
But while Facebook users appear more engaged in these observational activities, Pinterest users are more apt to be “creators,” as Bizrate Insights calls them. That means that Pinterest users are more likely to repin an item (55%) than Facebook users are to post or share one (37%). They’re also more likely to pin an item they saw on a retailer or brand’s website (37%) than are Facebook users to post or share such an item (27%).
All told, this suggests that Facebook users engage with brands in a more passive way, while Pinterest users are more active in their engagement, which supports their overall inclination towards using the site as a medium for product sharing and shopping inspiration.
About the Data: The Bizrate Insights Social Image Sharing and Online Shopping Series is a set of surveys conducted via the Bizrate Insights survey platform and offered to online buyers immediately after purchasing from the Bizrate Insights Network of over 5,200 e-commerce retailers in the US and Canada. Data was collected from 7,431 online buyers from August 9-August 17, 2012.