Pinterest vs. Facebook: The Pros and Cons of Their Traffic

Online jewelry retailer Boticca has been drilling into its own user and sales data to produce some interesting insights about Pinterest as a social referral source. In its look at 50,000 visitors who came from Pinterest or Facebook between March 15 and April 15 of 2012, the site found that visitors from Pinterest spent considerably more money per order than those from Facebook. In fact, Pinterest refers on average spent $190, which is 10% higher than the average Boticca customer. Facebook, on the other hand, sent over people who spent on average $85, or 44% less than the typical Boticca buyer. 

But it really is a bit of a mixed bag when comparing the audience behaviors of those sourced from one network or the other. For instance, Pinterest seemed to have a bigger hand in referring buys. It influenced 10% of the purchases measured in the sample, compared to Facebook which seemed only a part of 7% of purchase decisions. Pinterest also was responsible for sending a higher percentage of new Boticca users (86%) than Facebook (57%). 

On the other hand Pinterest referrals were considerably less engaged with the destination. These refers spent 65% less time at Boticca than Facebook visitors and 70% less than the site average. 

And while they might buy more when they do buy, Pinterest users actually had a 51% lower conversion rate on the site than Facebook-sourced users and a whopping 73% lower than the site average. High levels of Pinterest refers may boost per order statistics but they could at the same time lower conversion rates.

Of course every landing site’s mileage will vary. Content is distributed and discovered differently on Pinterest than on Facebook, and this may explain some differences. And of course Pinterest users are clicking for different reasons—often literally responding to a bright shiny object. But this is an interesting early and narrow benchmark of how the social networks funnel different people with different behaviors and mind sets. Full infographic below. 

Steve Smith is the digital media editor for min, a sister media brand of PR News. He can be e-mailed at

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