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eCommerce Faceoff: Instagram Or Pinterest?

  • Written By Javier
  • Posted December 14, 2015
  • 4 minutes Read Time

Let’s cut straight to the point. We are looking at the inherent benefits of services like Pinterest and Instagram, in a modern-day faceoff, the clash of the image-based titans, in order to determine which provides the best platform for eCommerce. We’ll look at several points as we aim to discover the overall champ, so hedge your bets now, and pick up some tips for business from your friendly Magento agency along the way! Who’s your money on?

Knowing Your Audiences

We are all aware, or we all should be aware, of the fact that brands whose aim is to target consumers who are female undoubtedly reap the profits of implementing a strong and relevant social media presence.

Studies have shown that women are 10% more likely than their male counterparts to show support for a particular brand, as well as being 17% more likely to follow through to offers on social media. However, further research discovered that men are the more dominant when it comes to interest in buying directly on social networks by using a social buy button. Only fractionally though, as the result shows 33 % vs. 30%.

It’s worth noting that every social media platform apart from LinkedIn, hold more female account holders than male ones, albeit not an equal distribution across the channels as figures cite that Pinterest’s users are 70% female, while Instagram boasts 55% of its users being female.

Buying Options

Experts have found that Instagram has the highest browser-to-shopper conversion rate of the social media outlets it tracks.

What is striking is the fact that Instagram only permits brands to link to their website via their profile page. And when the arrival of Instagram’s ‘buy button’ was revealed it was touted that there was an inevitable shift for the platform.

It’s yet to be fed down to regular Instagram posts, currently being limited to the recently-introduced ad availability.

As a result of the restricted options on Instagram, if you wanted to make a purchase you would still have to head to the main website to find and buy it.

On the other hand, Pinterest’s ‘Buyable Pins’ service, which was released earlier this year, and offers a service that allows users to make purchases found on the platform without the annoyance of having to exit the channel, is clearly the more appealing option. It also permits consumers to pay using Apple Pay or credit cards.

Pinterest is seen to have the biggest potential for eCommerce, and the 70 million users help that too, but does it always work out that way in real life? We’d tend to say no, in this case.

 Instagram’s Conversion Success

What’s behind the success for Instagram when it comes to its commerce conversion rate? There’s more than one answer here, so we’ll elaborate. First of all, Pinterest assures a platform that allows for commerce users to speak to their female audience in a way that they like. And when we consider that marketing messages with gender specific content are five times more successful than those that are based on a unisex message, you can see why they use this approach.

Instagram has a much more level gender split than Pinterest so the brands are able to take a duel-pronged approach and separate their content with accounts that specialise for either men or women – a service Pinterest cannot offer in the same way.

Retail big guns such as ASOS and Nike are just two of the forerunners when it comes to splitting accounts on Instagram, which makes complete sense when you think about it. It’s based on the same reason you wouldn’t mix male and female products in a high-street store.

Our next point, which shows support for Instagram, is that brands post images and video on the platform that defines the daily life and culture of their company. Call it an emotional olive branch to the consumer.

The posts we talk of that promote the culture behind a brand have proven to be extremely effective force for increasing engagement levels, as well as the all-important revenue numbers.

Back to Pinterest and it’s been made clear that the developers are under mounting pressure to shuffle commerce to the front of its pack.

Buyable pins move Pinterest and its commerce options toward the light as the pressure increases, which might prove to sustain the platform for some time to come, as the social media channel evolves from its original form.

Who’s The Top eCommerce Player?

So we’ve considered a few options for the dominant force in terms of social media eCommerce, and given the social media as a whole, allows brands to share themselves and their story in a form that their websites and physical stores simply cannot match, we would have to say that, at this time, a targeted Instagram account comes out as the top eCommerce player for driving revenue.