Pinterest: Benefiting Savvy Retailers Since 2010
by Kate Enright
Pinterest is the new kid on the block where social media is concerned and everyone wants to know how best to utilise its success for their business, especially when it comes to retail. Pinterest is now one of the largest social networks on the planet and has shown the most promise when it comes to boosting sales, in retail particularly. TechCrunch quoted that in February 2012 Pinterest had 10.4 million users and was responsible for 3.6 per cent of all referral traffic to retailers’ sites. Impressive no? Twitter on the other hand has accumulated 200 million users in 6 years and is responsible for just 0.1 per cent more of all referral traffic. Has that caught your attention? Here is an excerpt from TechCrunch’s article:
A recent study done by Shopify has shown some more very surprising results. It turns out that retailers really should be listening up and improving their Pinterest accounts, they simply can’t ignore the figures. The study showed that referrals to a retailer’s website from Pinterest are 10% more likely to buy than if directed from any other social network and 70% more likely that from another website! And this is a site that is growing rapidly, with faster growth patterns than both twitter and Facebook at the same points in their history. In fact, Pinterest is growing at such a rate that their number of orders generated from pins on Shopify alone has quadrupled in the last six months. Take a look at their infographic for yourself.
These are pretty interesting statistics to say the least. So what makes Pinterest so enticing for consumers? The truth is that with the internet perpetually at our finger tips and our ever-growing consumption of data, we have come to expect answers, information faster. Our patience with text has depleted rapidly due to the our constant access to visual content in convenient formats, we no longer spend hours reading dusty old library books to absorb information, we rely more and more on images, infographics and tweets – quick, easy, visual blasts of context and data. Enter Pinterest. With a whopping 10.8 million daily visits from across the globe and a $7.7 billion valuation Pinterest has exploded onto the seen since it’s Beta release in 2010. It has picked up on the changes I mentioned and interpreted the change in the way marketing works, particularly in the marketing of objects such as jewellery, clothing, furniture, art and food. With more access to visual content, consumers are veering far from the old methods of reading text and markers have new methods of creating leads. Now, visual concepts led by social media sites like Pinterest and Instagram are in charge of driving traffic to sites. Attractive, fun and interesting images of products get pinned and are therefore exposed to an ever-expanding audience. Pinterest is not just about sharing. People who pin are often inspirational, visual and creative so if retailers have interesting lifestyle brands it’s important to start pinning.
It’s now more than easy to keep an eye on your competitors and what is working for them, this is something that we didn’t have the luxury of in the past and that retailers, marketers, well…EVERYONE, should be taking advantage of now. If an article or a product that belongs to a competitor has been re-pinned multiple times, you have an insight into what works for that business, and a chance to assess how you might use that to your advantage. As with the other social media platforms, once you find that users are pinning and promoting content that belongs to a competitor, to you as a possible product concept, or one of your existing products, you can interact and engage with them, find out why they like it, if they’ll pay for it and what else they like that you could develop for them or recommend. Invaluable.
Benefiting from Pinterest may seem straightforward, and in many ways it is. However, there are some details that you will want to remember before starting off. Radian6 recently did a great job detailing 5 ways to benefit from Pinterest as a retailer in a blog post. I’ve summarised them here.
1. Button It
Make sure you have a Pin It button on your website or blog. This works particularly well for style, image, and interiors blogs.
2. Search For Mentions
Know when and where your brand has been pinned. Do a search for your brand to show what type of pins show up. You can also find out what content people have pinned from your website by adding “/source/” and your website address to the pinterest homepage URL.
Depending on what kind of retailer you are, you can easily identify what products in your category for example Design, Food & Drink, Apparel, and Technology and check which seem to be most popular. You can use these stats to your advantage.
4. Start Pinning
Pin in a creative and brand promoting way without being too in your face. They gave some good examples with Bergdorf Goodman, who try to actively showcase the brand’s personality, such as “The Books on our Shelves” board. They also do a great job of presenting their own products in a helpful way, with boards themed around clothing trends and holiday gifts. Self- promotion is said to be frowned upon, so be sure to share a healthy mix of content with your followers.
The last tip they offer is to find creative ways to leverage Pinterest for your campaigns. For example Lands’ End asked fans to create boards with their favourite products for the chance to win a $250 gift card. They called it “Pin It to Win It”.
One very interesting statistic provided by Shopify in the infographic I linked to above was that Pinterest “Pins” with prices attached get 36% more likes than those without. This is clearly an incentive for retailers to provide a price alongside their products on Pinterest. So why do people respond well to seeing prices attached to products? Probably for the same reason people like to see prices on tags in store. They know what they are getting into from the start, maybe they have been pleasantly surprised, and the up-front honesty is always appealing. There are many, and seemingly endless benefits to retailers for putting time and effort into a good Pinterest page… especially now that the rumours of e-commerce integration have begun to creep in! Take a look at this Fashionista article for more on that.