Pinterest Edges Out Facebook for Winning New Customers . / Credit:

Retailers may have more success finding new customers on Pinterest than on Facebook, new research shows.

A study from Bizrate Insights revealed that while both Pinterest and Facebook are sites online consumers visit to connect with people who have similar styles and interests, Pinterest is more often used as a destination for shopping inspiration, tracking and product discovery. Specifically, nearly 70 percent of online shoppers who visit the social image sharing website have found an item they've purchased or wanted to purchase, compared with only 40 percent of online consumers who visit Facebook

Additionally, the research shows significantly more online consumers agree that Pinterest is a place to get inspiration on what to buy, keep track of or collect things they like and to keep up with the latest trends on things they enjoy.

Pinterest also appears to be the stronger site for brand association.  More than 40 percent of the Pinterest members surveyed use the social network to associate with retailers or brands with which they identify, compared with just 24 percent of Facebook users.

Hayley Silver, vice president of Bizrate Insights, said the study shows that that Pinterest provides a better experience for shopping discovery, purchase consideration and deeper engagement with retailer content.

"But this is not to say that all social attention should be diverted to Pinterest," Silver said. "Facebook and Pinterest each serve their online shopping communities with their preferred shopping activities, which vary by platform."

When interacting with retailers, Pinterest members are more likely to be the ones who share brand-related content, while Facebook users are more likely to interact with promotional activities developed by retailers.

For businesses trying to reach the largest audience, Facebook is still the way to go. As of September, data shows that more than 60 percent of all online consumers have a Facebook account, while just 15 percent are Pinterest members.

The social image-sharing site is gaining in popularity, however. In August, 46 percent of online consumers said they had heard of Pinterest, up 10 percentage points since March.

The study was based on data collected from more than 7,400 online shoppers

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