For the first time more than half of US consumers will shop on e-commerce sites this holiday season, making effective digital marketing more imperative than ever. Despite Facebook’s vast user-base, longstanding relationships with brands, and new commerce friendly tools for retailers, it’s actually Pinterest that brands are hoping will boost their sales numbers this holiday season. According to a new study from Bizrate Insights, Pinterest is far better at inspiring purchases than Facebook. The study found that when users are looking for “inspiration on what to buy”, they are overwhelmingly going to Pinterest — 70% vs only 17% who head to Facebook. Similarly, 67% of users polled say they turn to Pinterest to keep up with trends, vs 22% who go to Facebook. When it comes to social sharing, 55% of users say they’ve repinned a product as compared to 37% who say they’ve shared an item on Facebook.

Hayley Silver, vice president of Bizrate Insights, said the study shows that “Pinterest provides a better experience for shopping discovery, purchase consideration, and deeper engagement with retailer content.” She also notes, however, that Facebook has its strengths as a retail platform, namely in executing brand promotions.

Retailers seem pretty convinced by the high levels of shopping engagement that Pinterest offers. Sephora’s VP of Digital Media, Bridget Dolan, told AdWeek that “Pinterest has great potential for the holidays” and that the brand will be investing in marketing on the platform this season. Wayfair, a home furnishings e-tailer, echos the sentiment: “Our Pinterest referrals spend 70 percent more than nonsocial channels, including search. And they are 10 percent more likely to purchase when compared to other social channels” remarks a representative. In our recent Digital IQ Index: Fashion study, we found that 80% of fashion brands have launched a board on Pinterest, the same ratio of brands that sell online.

Other studies have shown that users are more likely to trust information they get from Pinterest over Facebook. The September ComScore numbers indicate that unique users on the site has now topped 25 million, compared to just 2 million a year ago. With so much data in Pinterest’s favor, it might just be the gift retailers were hoping for this holiday season.


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