Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest ‘drive as much in store purchasing as online purchasing’

Networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest drive as much in store purchasing as online purchasing, but affect purchasing behaviour in sharply different ways, research from Vision Critical has found.

This research gathered more than 5,900 responses over a series of four online surveys to determine how social media influences the consumer’s path to purchase.

It was discovered that Facebook was best for motivating consumers to make purchases offline and online; while one in three individuals who buy items they have pinned or liked on Pinterest had not thought of making that purchase until they found the item on Pinterest.

On Twitter and Facebook, technology is the product category: 34 per cent of Twitter purchases and 25 per cent of Facebook purchases were made after sharing or favouriting a technology item.

Alexandra Samuel, vice president of social media at Vision Critical and David Sevitt, vice president of consumer insight at Vision Critical, said: “While 26 per cent of consumers engage regularly in ‘showrooming’, 41 per cent browse online and then purchase in stores — a practice we call ‘reverse showrooming’. Instead of feeling threatened by ‘showrooming’, retailers should study their customers’ paths to purchase and use the insights gained to hone their online marketing efforts.”

In terms of influencing purchasing, Pinterest helped consumers get more information, Twitter helped consumers find out where to buy the item and Facebook alerted consumers to sales.

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