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There will be 47.1 million US Pinterest users of all ages this year, representing 26.1% of social networkers, eMarketer estimates. And according to GlobalWebIndex, Pinterest was the fastest-growing social media site/app worldwide between Q2 2014 and Q1 2015, nearly doubling its penetration among internet users. Based on recent research, the social network will have a large influence on purchase decisions among its audience.
In a March 2015 study by Pinterest and Millward Brown Digital, 93% of US Pinterest users who had accessed the network in the past six months had done so to plan for or make purchases, and 87% said they had purchased something as a result of the social site.
In all, 52% agreed that Pinterest had helped them with purchase decisions across a range of categories. The social network is often used as a recipe source, so it makes sense that food and ingredients were the most popular items for which Pinterest had helped with purchase decisions. The home, hair and beauty, health and fitness, and clothing and accessories categories were each cited by between 39% and 45% of respondents.
Research from Merkle | RKG highlighted Pinterest’s role in driving website traffic. In Q1 2015, the network accounted for the second-highest share of social media-driven site visits in North America, at 19.0%.
Active Pinterest users are heavy digital buyers in general, so it makes sense that they’re more swayed by what they see online. More than four in 10 respondents to the Millward Brown and Pinterest study said they purchased food and recipe items online at least monthly, with about half of that group doing so weekly. Beauty items, which have lagged for online purchases, were bought digitally by more than two in five at least monthly, while four in 10 respondents said the same about fashion items.
Pinterest users’ comfort with digital buying likely plays a role in their use of the social network for purchase research and planning—presenting brands such as those in the food, home, beauty and fashion industries with another channel that can help drive purchases.
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