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Pinterest Users Don’t Just Window Shop

Survey finds 1 in 4 users makes a purchase through the curation site.

Pinterest may not just be a site for people to share their favorite Internet finds—it may also be a great way to buy and sell, according to a recent survey.

Bizrate Insights, a leading e-commerce seller ratings and consumer insights provider, conducted the survey, which finds that 32 percent of people who use Pinterest bought an item they saw on the curation site. Moreover, 26 percent bought goods by clicking on the image they found on Pinterest, which took them to a retailer site that offered the product.

The survey also notes that an additional 37 percent of respondents found items on Pinterest that they wanted to buy. However, these shoppers did not buy while they were on the site. Ten percent said they wanted to buy the products they saw but couldn’t find them online. Twenty-seven percent noted they didn’t look for the items they liked on retail sites.
“Pinterest could become a player for smaller retailers that have unique products that would not have been as easily discovered”

Only 31 percent of respondents said they haven’t seen an item they want to buy on Pinterest, according to the survey.

The survey’s findings were only partly surprising to Hayley Silver, vice president of Bizrate Insights.

“The opportunity for ‘window shopping’ is directly tied into the experience on Pinterest, so, intuitively, it would make sense that some type of spontaneous shopping would be occurring, but we were not sure if people were actually buying or if [Pinterest] was just that: a place to browse and be inspired,” she says.

“The study helped to validate some of that speculation by finding that there is, in fact, a pool of people that have made a purchase,” Silver adds.

She notes that it may still be too early to tell for sure if Pinterest influences what people buy, but the findings suggest it could.

“Pinterest could become a player for specific shopping categories, such as those where visual guides are a cue, and also for smaller retailers that have unique products to share that would not have been as easily discovered, say, in the mainstream shuffle,” she continues.

One expert says that Pinterest’s growing popularity and its appeal to buyers will likely make it the third most popular social networking site retailers use to promote their products. YouTube currently holds that position, notes Chad White, researching director of Responsys, a marketing service provider that recently studied Pinterest.

About the author

Olga Munoz
Olga Munoz is editor of In addition to writing news and feature articles about e-commerce, selling trends, online marketing and other topics of interest to online sellers, Olga manages the site's social media efforts. A journalism graduate of Chico State, Olga says her favorite part of being a journalist is learning interesting facts that help put stories into perspective, attending industry events and meeting interesting people "that leave you smiling, even in tough situations." Opinions expressed here may not be shared by The Online Seller and/or its principals.

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