Pinterest Beats Facebook for E-Commerce Sharing

Facebook may dominate social sharing overall, but Pinterest is the leader when it comes to social sharing for e-commerce, according to a new study by Gigya, which specializes in social customer management and conducted a survey of social sharing habits across various verticals in the third quarter of the year.

For general social sharing of all types, Facebook led the way with a 41% share, followed by Twitter at 30%, and Pinterest at 20%; LinkedIn and Google+ lagged behind with 4% and 3% of all sharing activity, respectively. But a rather different picture emerged for sharing related to e-commerce, where Pinterest led the way with 44% of all e-commerce-based shares, followed by Facebook with 37% and Twitter at just 12%. Google+ contributed just 3% of e-commerce-related shares, and LinkedIn didn’t even register.

However, Facebook moved into first place again in a variety of marketing-related categories, leading the way in sharing for media and publishers with 40% of shares, versus 30% for Twitter and 20% for Pinterest. Facebook was also the most popular platform for sharing consumer brands, with 46% of all brand shares, compared to 38% for Twitter and 11% for Pinterest. Likewise Facebook led in the travel and hospitality vertical, with a whopping 61% of all social sharing, compared to just 17% for Pinterest and 14% for Twitter.

Regardless of which particular social platform generates the most e-commerce sharing, the fact remains that social media in general is not the source of much e-commerce activity -- at least, not directly.

Over the most recent Thanksgiving holiday, for example, social media sites contributed a negligible share of total e-commerce transactions, according to the “Black Friday 2013” report from IBM, based on an analysis of transactions at around 800 retail Web sites. IBM found that online sales from social sites contributed just 1% of total traffic to e-commerce sites on Black Friday as well as the week prior to it -- basically the same proportion as last year.

On the other hand, the IBM results provide an interesting complement to Gigya’s findings, as IBM found that shoppers referred from Pinterest spent 77% more than shoppers referred from Facebook ($92.51 versus $52.30). But on the other other (third?) hand, Facebook referrals converted to sales at nearly four times the rate as Pinterest referrals.

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