Fewer shoppers are flocking to social media Web sites in search of deals and coupons, according to a study released Thursday by the National Retail Federation.
The number of consumers who reported following retailers on the likes of Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest fell to 51 percent from 58 percent last year, according to the 2012 Social and Mobile Commerce Study.
Respondents cited concerns about information sharing and privacy, which have increased over the past year, according to the study, which polled more than 1,500 consumers on their social media interactions.
At the same time, more shoppers are choosing online bulletin board Pinterest, over Facebook and Twitter as their go-to-spot for following retailers online.
Consumers reported following an average of 9.3 retail companies on social media darling Pinterest, which recently raised $100 million in venture capital, to the 8.5 retailers they follow on Twitter and the average 6.9 they follow on Facebook.
The survey, which provides a look at consumers' attitudes and behaviors toward social media, was conducted in March by Web-analytics firm comScore Inc.; the NRF's digital arm, Shop.org; and the Partnering Group consultancy.
"Retailers have done a commendable job embracing social media -- engaging their customers where it makes sense while keeping their brand relevant, interesting, appealing and exciting on each platform," said Vicki Cantrell, executive director of Shop.org.
Mobile devices are increasingly making shopping more social, particularly for men, according to the survey. Consumers polled reported using their smartphones to search for products and share potential purchases with family and friends. They use their tablets however, to buy and comparison shop, according to the survey.
Roughly one-third of consumers surveyed said they shared their location with retailers via smartphone. And men -- 40 percent -- were more likely to do so than women, 22 percent.
Social shopping is more prevalent among those ages 18 to 34 with nearly half (46 percent) of consumers in that age group reporting sharing their location with retailers. That compares to 22 percent of older consumers, ages 35 to 54, telling retailers where they are.
"There are significant new opportunities for retailers to entice smartphone owners who may be within a few feet of their store -- or already in the store -- thanks to technology that lets shoppers who want to hear from retailers instantly interact with them," said Jennifer Vlahavas, senior director of comScore Inc.
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