The photo sharing web and mobile application Pinterest has recently been valued at $11bn, an impressive figure considering the company does not directly sell products. That said, a recent study by Searchmetics, a leading global enterprise platform, found that the company is fundamental to retailers, in particular and rather surprisingly those in the grocers.
The study analysed Pinterest activity for the nine leading UK supermarket websites, looking at company follower numbers, pins per week, total pinned pages, most pinned post and total number of pins on said post. The nine supermarkets were based in the UK’s top 10, as confirmed by Kantar Worldpanel.
The report found that supermarkets Tesco and Asda have the most web content shared or ‘pinned’ on Pinterest. Tesco had a total of 43,834 pins, while Asda had 35,304. However, controversial Tesco, has considerably more followers to engage with on Pinterest, with 41,581, compared to Asda’s 4,442.
Pinterest success for supermarkets highlights how companies must truly engage with customers to create a trusted and useful brand.
Recipe pages draw much of Asda’s traffic, after a penguin themed festive cake earned 11,997 pins, more interest than any other supermarket web page. Waitrose and Tesco’s Pot Cider Chicken recipe and Cranberry Camembert puffs also gained attention but considerably less.
CTO and founder of Searchmetrics, Marcus Tober, is not surprised that supermarkets are getting involved in the online platform, which celebrates its 5th birthday this year:
“Pinterest has often been associated with recipe sharing so it’s not surprising that the trend continues with the supermarkets recipe pages being very popular on the site. For the stores, getting their recipes shared on social networks is a great way to potentially drive sales of ingredients”.
All the major supermarkets were found to use Pinterest, bar Lidl. Britain’s current ‘bargain favourite’ Aldi was the third biggest supermarket on the platform, attracting 5,440 followers.
What this means for the ‘Big Four’
The ‘Big four’ seem to be battling it out in all aspects, social media is not excluded. However, while Aldi might currently be having the upper hand with the pricing war, it is not the front runner online. The company is yet to provide online orders and came only 6th on Searchmetics report.
Pinterest is clearly an opportune and underused social media channel, allowing retailers to discretely showcase their product images and market ingredients indirectly. The search said that it can push consumers back to a supermarket’s main page and increase ingredient sales. Tober added:
“With Pinterest raising more funding, growing fast and continuing to innovate, I would expect supermarkets and other retailers to become more active and have more web content pinned on the site”.
Pinterest has over 70m active users worldwide, with figures growing around 111% over six months according to data found by Global Web Index. It is also hoping to add a ‘buy button’, which will allow retailers to directly capitalise from the social media site, rather than hoping users will double click onto company pages.
As the price wars continue, supermarkets must offer quality as well as just cheap options to ensure that standards don’t slip. Discrete marketing through Pinterest allows customers to engage inconspicuously, while still pushing branded products.
Full list of Top UK Supermarkets on Pinterest
- Tesco.com, (https://www.pinterest.com/tesco/), 43,834 total pins, 41,581 followers
- Asda.com, (https://uk.pinterest.com/asda/), 35,304 total pins, 4,442 followers
- Waitrose.com, (https://www.pinterest.com/waitrose/), 19,474 total pins, 5,319 followers
- Sainsbury’s.co.uk, (https://www.pinterest.com/sainsburys/), 4,224 total pins, 37,012 followers
- Co-operativefood.co.uk, (https://uk.pinterest.com/CooperativeFood/), 1,434 total pins, 853 followers
- Aldi.co.uk, (https://uk.pinterest.com/aldiukstores/), 991 total pins, 5,440 followers
- Morrisons.com, (https://uk.pinterest.com/morrisons/), 350 total pins, 1631 followers
- Lidl.co.uk- No UK Pinterest page, 70 total pins
- Iceland.co.uk- (https://uk.pinterest.com/IcelandFoods/), 34 total pinned pages, 2 followers