ASOS is top UK retailer on Pinterest this Christmas shopping season

Festive Pinterest boards on display from UK retailers

London, December 3, 2013: Online fashion retailer, ASOS, is the most popular UK online retail site when it comes to having web content shared on Pinterest, the pin-board style social network, in the run up to Christmas 2013. In a study of ten top UK retail sites1, images and pages from asos.com are being shared most frequently on Pinterest, with Amazon UK and John Lewis taking second and third positions respectively.

Content from asos.com currently generates the highest number of average pins (shares) per week2 (1,728) on Pinterest, followed by amazon.co.uk (1,233) with johnlewis.com (791) taking third place. The findings come from a study by digital marketing software and services specialist, Searchmetrics.

In total 160,958 links to content on asos.com were found to have been pinned (shared) by Pinterest users at the time of the study (w/e 22 November, 2013). Amazon.co.uk had received a total of 90,375 pins, closely followed by debenhams.com with a total of 89,577 pins identified.

Pinterest, the three year old social network, which is reported to have 70 million users, lets users collect pictures, articles and other primarily visual, online information on virtual pin boards which they can share with their friends and followers on the site. It can act as a virtual shop window for retailers, enabling people to share images and videos of products they like. This creates multiple advantages which work together to positively impact retail sales: Pinterest introduces consumers to retail products they may not be aware of; pinned content acts as a powerful recommendation from people’s connections on the site; and the site drives traffic back to specific product pages on retailers sites (because each pin links back to the original web page where the content can be found).

To make it easier for people to share their online content, all of the ten retailers in the study were found to have set up their own official Pinterest pages3 although the Amazon.co.uk page currently appears to be inactive with no content actually uploaded to the virtual ‘boards’ that have been created. Asos.com’s Pinterest page had achieved over 48,000 Pinterest followers, which is over five times greater than the nearest other retailer which was next.co.uk with just over 9,000 followers.

Many retailers have set up festive Pinterest boards and promotions to generate interest in their products in the Christmas run up. Asos.com, has set up a board for the holidays which includes pins of festive content from other sites, including seasonal images such as stills from classic Christmas movies, as well as promoting stock from its own site.

“ASOS seems to really ‘get’ Pinterest and social networking. It’s not just about pushing your own content but being social and trying to share content that your followers on Pinterest might find useful or entertaining – even if it doesn’t produce a sale for you. Perhaps that’s one of the reasons why ASOS is doing so well on Pinterest,” explained Marcus Tober, CTO and founder of Searchmetrics, which collects weekly data including an analysis of links shared on Pinterest and other social networks as part of its search and social analytics software.

Debenhams has a number of festive Pinterest boards including festive food gifts, gifts for kids and gifts for him and her boards while John Lewis features a The Bear and The Hare board featuring stills and products themed around its bear and hare Christmas TV advert. For the second year running Argos is promoting its Argos Toy Exchange board to help raise money for Children’s charity Barnardo’s.

Tesco has uploaded a number of festive ‘how to’ youtube videos on its How To Guides pinterest board, including video guides demonstrating ‘How to dress the perfect Christmas tree’ and ‘How to disguise a gift’s shape’.

“We’re seeing retailers starting to get creative by running festive themed Pinterest boards and promotions linking their Pinterest with their other promotional activity such as ads and charity sponsorships as well co-ordinating with their other social channels.” added Tober.

Retailer web site Pinterest page Average pins per week Total pins Pinterest Followers
Asos (asos.com) pinterest.com/asos/ 1,728 160,958 48,043
Amazon (amazon.co.uk) pinterest.com/amazonuk/ 1,233 90,375 81
John Lewis (johnlewis.com) pinterest.com/johnlewisretail/ 791 88,858 3,937
New Look (newlook.com) pinterest.com/newlookfashion/ 602 48,188 5,447
Next (next.co.uk) pinterest.com/nextofficial/ 525 41,452 6,406
Debenhams (debenhams.com) pinterest.com/debenhams/ 333 89,577 2,632
Marks and Spencer (marksandspencer.com) pinterest.com/marksandspencer/ 267 16,063 8,909
Argos (argos.co.uk) pinterest.com/argosonline/ 256 10,481 1,628
Tesco (tesco.com) pinterest.com/tesco/ 206 7,931 2,187
B&Q (diy.com) pinterest.com/bandq/ 4 782 2,233

The single most pinned piece of content of all the sites in the study was a purple bed linen set from the Kylie Minogue at Home collection on the Debenhams web site, which had amassed 82,357 pins. Other highly pinned content included a Road Trip fashion look which was uploaded to the looks pages (where shoppers can upload their favourite looks and trends) on the asos.com web site (51,588 pins) and a guide to men’s tailoring infographic on next.co.uk (17,493 pins). Tesco’s top pinned pages tended to be recipes such as this Beef Wellington Recipe.

“When we looked at the most pinned content from the retail sites, we found that they often have one or two pieces of content which seem to have ‘gone viral’ and been pinned and repinned over and over as more Pinterest users have discovered them – sometimes over many months. But this is the exception. In general most of the content from most retailers’ sites is pinned fewer than a hundred times,” added Tober.

¹ Source: The list of the ten of UK retail sites included in the study is based on the top ranking sites in The IMRG-Experian Hitwise Hot Shops List of the top 50 UK e-retailers (http://www.imrg.org/index.php?catalog=190). The study excluded the amazon.com and apple.com sites (which both ranked highly in the Hot Shops list) because it was assumed that they are global sites with the majority of traffic and sales coming from outside the UK. Ticketing and TV and Film streaming sites were also excluded in favour of analysing a list of like for like product retailers.
² The average weekly pins per week is based on pins per shared over the previous four weeks.
3 The pins (or shares) of web page URLs analysed in Searchmetrics’ study are those pins that users of Pinterest share on their own Pinterest boards. They are not the same as – and do not rely on – the pins being shared by retailers themselves on their own Pinterest boards (if they have them).

About the Searchmetrics study
The data for the study was collated in w/e 22nd November 2013. It included an analysis of Pinterest activity for the 10 UK retailer web sites using data from the global social media database which Searchmetrics operates to power its online software tools. This is a regularly updated store of data points related to web sites and their visibility on social networks. The average pins per week data is based on data for the preceding four weeks. The study also included an analysis of the Pinterest pages of retailers. The list of retailers analysed in the study was based on the latest available ExperianHitwise figures (http://www.imrg.org/index.php?catalog=190).