According to a new survey of roughly 3,000 women, who are in constant need of being decoded, nearly 2 in 3 expect to use Pinterest for gift ideas this holiday shopping season. Also, 1 in 4 plan to use the site to collect the things they want others to buy them. If you have to buy things for women, this might not be a bad way of figuring out what they want from you, since the survey also shows women prefer to receive things they've already hinted at rather than gifts that surprise them.
The 3,024 women aged 18 and older, all members of the product review–focused social network SheSpeaks, answered the survey online between Nov. 12 and Nov. 15, 2012. Conducted in partnership with marketing agency Lippe Taylor, the resulting "Women's Buying Index" reveals women are shopping online for gifts more than ever before, while 60% of respondents are using Pinterest to collect ideas.
The survey specifically asked women how they might use Pinterest for their holiday shopping. The responses were as follows:
• 60% said they'd use it "to get gift ideas."
• 36% said they'd use it "to do research for gifts I'm already considering buying for others."
• 26% said they'd use Pinterest "to create a list of gifts I want to share with those who are buying gifts for me." (Which might be a better idea than being the next This Girl.)
• 23% said they'd use the social network "to pin photos of gifts I've bought/made for others." (Philosophical question: Will this lead to a rise of Christmas lists for GROWN-UPS? Will that become more socially acceptable with the rise of Gifterest lists? Chew on that.)
• 29% said they don't use Pinterest.
• 3% cited some "other" holiday shopping use of the site.
Lippe Taylor CEO Maureen Lippe noted that last year, these numbers would have been wildly different since Pinterest's user base has exploded so much in recent months. She also found it interesting that more women were shopping online this holiday season, which naturally correlates with a rise in Pinterest's influence on holiday shopping. Women who don't normally shop online said they planned to shop online for holiday gifts, while more women (55%) said they planned to shop Cyber Monday than those who said they would hit Black Friday (50%).
Other holiday shopping trends Lippe sees include a considerable interest in Fifty Shades–fueled sex-related gift wants, with 25% of survey respondents expressing interest in receiving "sexy lingerie" this season. Lippe, who once worked on a patch to enhance female desire (it never got FDA approval), said the stats she's seen on the lack of sex women are having and their lack of desire for sex are astounding — and credits the book with helping women rediscover an interest in sex. While she hasn't seen hard data about the book boosting lingerie sales industry-wide, she has one client who makes lingerie she calls "frilly and not utilitarian at all" that's seen a sales boost over the past three months.
And if you don't know what to get the women in your life, there's a good chance they've hinted at what they want. According to the survey, 47% of women prefer to receive a gift they've hinted at wanting but that forces the gift giver to make "the final selection," 41% want a gift that's a complete surprise, and 12% want the exact thing they've told the giver they want.
So if you're buying gifts for women and feel totally stumped about what to get them, just check their Pinterest boards. But anything sparkly that involves an iPhone or something really retro is probably a safe bet.