Expect to see a proliferation of niche social networks over the next 12 months.
Niche social networks Pinterest and Instagram are growing in popularity, particularly in Singapore and Hong Kong.
Hong Kong leads in share of Pinterest visits while Singapore gained more than 8,100 percent growth on Instagram, based on a global study by Experian and illustrated in the chart below.
However, it is the downstream sites that consumers visit after Pinterest and Instagram that retail and fashion brands should take note of.
John Merakovsky, MD at Experian Marketing Service for Asia Pacific told ClickZ.asia in a phone interview that Singapore-based visitors go to a mix of global and local social commerce sites after visiting the niche networks.
For instance, after visiting Instagram and Pinterest, visitors from Singapore go on to Korean shopping site Gmarket, local online shopping mall Jipaban, Zalora, as well as global sites such as Ebay and Groupon.
Hong Kong visitors go to global and Chinese e-commerce sites such as Amazon, Ebay, Taobao, as well as to online DIY marketplace Etsy, and social commerce site Polyvore, after visiting Pinterest and Instagram, he added.
Global brands such as Ann Taylor, Kate Spade, and Maybelline are gaining traction on these niche networks such as Pinterest.
While most major brands do not seem to have a local presence on Pinterest and Instagram yet, should brands big and small start to consider building a presence on these niche networks?
"For social commerce, having a local strategy has its benefits," said Merakovsky.
It would allow the brand to connect on a local level and generate enthusiasts locally as seen from the differences between Singapore and Hong Kong visitors, he explained.
"Local brands in Singapore have done a better job of getting more traffic to their sites and the activity in the social space will generate more revenue for them."
According to the study, Pinterest is now the fourth biggest social network in the U.S. and Americans spend 15 minutes per session on the site.
Singaporeans spend on average 23 minutes on Pinterest and they are more likely to visit after having been on Facebook.
In Australia, 33 percent of traffic to Instagram is driven from Facebook. While in Singapore, Twitter represented 42 percent of all visits to Instagram, followed by Facebook (22 percent).
Charts generated by Fan Shek.
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Adaline Lau, ClickZ Asia editor, oversees day-to-day editorial operations covering digital marketing from search to social media, mobile to analytics in the region. Before ClickZ, she was senior reporter at Marketing Magazine and has worked as a journalist for The Singapore Marketer and Asia Pacific Broadcasting. Connect with her @adalinelau or Google+.
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