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Pinterest drives largest growth in online Black Friday sales

Top social networks such as Facebook and Pinterest are playing a bigger role for retailers’ mobile strategy by propelling shoppers into social commerce, as evidenced by sales numbers from Thanksgiving weekend. 

While the average order value for Black Friday sales came directly from social networks, predominately by Facebook with $114.45, Pinterest saw the largest growth increase year-over-year at 16 percent, according to a recent Adobe report. With Twitter dropping to a spot just below, these numbers show promise for Pinterest and its capabilities to drive revenue.

“For the holiday season, we looked at average order value specifically to see how much revenue came from social referred visits,” said Joe Martin, senior analyst at Adobe Digital Index. “AOV for traffic referred from social on Black Friday was led by Facebook, and Pinterest came in second.

“This year, we also saw a few retailers like Amazon who added new wrinkles into their social plan,” he said. “For example,’s Twitter feed now allows followers to retweet a product that they post and add it to their cart if their social account is linked to their account.

“This type of option allows an opportunity to present top products to a largely social engaged audience.”

Increasing effectiveness
According to Adobe’s data, Pinterest came in second with $93.20, and Twitter drove online sales of $90.74 on average. Although Pinterest saw the largest year over year increase in average order value, up 16 percent, Facebook, at seven percent, and Twitter, at five percent, also saw slight increases. Two percent ($74.6 million) of purchases came directly from social media sites, which is flat compared to 2013.

Social media buzz continued to be an early indicator for top gifts. The new 4K TVs saw the biggest jump in social buzz month over month with social media mentions for Sony and Samsung, increasing 350 percent.

Fitbit led the wearable device category, which had 100,000 social mentions on Thanksgiving and Black Friday while iPhone 6 continued to lead in the smartphone category.

However, data from Custora claims social media does not possess very much promise. According to its research, social media, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest drove only 1.7 percent of sales.

Custora acclaims email marketing to have driven the most orders during the holiday weekend. While it usually lags behind online search, email marketing was the primary channel on Cyber Monday, driving 23.9 percent of sales.

Translating to sales
In a reflection of the growing social commerce trend, Spiegel, Fair Indigo and Harley-Davidson Military Sales are among the retailers taking advantage of new capabilities enabling Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest users to shop from in-stream posts.

Retailers such as these that are using Amazon Webstore can now merchandise and sell their products on social media sites in posts that mimic an ecommerce storefront. Users can see products from different angles, view pertinent product information and make a purchase by connecting directly to a branded checkout process (see story).

Mall retailer Charlotte Russe recently tried out Curalate’s Like2Buy mcommerce solution and saw a 60 percent click-through rate from the Like2Buy page to product pages.

From the back end, Charlotte Russe’s marketing team has easily integrated the Like2Buy tool in its Curalate-powered posting and scheduling system used for its Instagram account. A easy transition into social commerce, the combination of using Instagram and a seamless solution system has given Charlotte Russe a new route for revenue (see story).

Adobe’s Mr. Martin believes buy buttons will become more prominent in 2015 for social’s role in mobile commerce.

“We expect targeted ads on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest to continue to increase in 2015,” Mr. Martin said. “Given these networks loaded with content, marketers are now paying more of a premium for their posts to be shown, which makes creating a targeted ad or post even more important.

“Also, keep an eye on Twitter and Facebook buy buttons,” he said. “Both of these networks have been trying to find the best way to monetize retail on their sites and a combination of targeted ads and a Buy Now button may be just what it takes to move forward in the retail space.”

Final Take
Caitlyn Bohannon is an editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York