Pinterest Visuals Can Drive Sales

Source: HBR, Jul 2013
(great read!)

… social media sends more customers into stores than the Internet pulls out: 1 in 5 Pinterest users has bought something in a store after pinning or liking it on Pinterest, and 1 in 3 Pinterest users under 35 has done so. If you want more people walking through the door of your store with a purchase in mind, design your Pinterest strategy to send as many people to your stores as to your website.

Drive personal pinning.

While 60% of Pinterest purchases were discovered on Pinterest, the vast majority were discovered through the boards or streams of regular human beings: 19% of purchases were discovered through a friend, and 24% through a stranger, compared to just 7% being discovered on a retailer’s Pinterest board, and 10% through Pinterest search. That means you can’t rely on your own Pinterest presence to drive significant sales, and instead need to think about how to drive repinning (where your viewers and customers share items they find on your pinboards to their own pinboards).

To encourage customers to pin items from your site to their Pinterest boards, make sure you include a “share on Pinterest” button on every product page, and consider running promotions to encourage pinning (some examples here). To let your customers know that their pinning is appreciated, pay extra attention to the people who share your content the most, by repinning and liking their pins.

Pack images with information. One of the major ways Pinterest influences purchasing is by providing additional information about a product. Any visitor who comes to your site from a Pinterest link should land on a page with relevant information about the product. Better yet, save them the trip by embedding product information directly in the images on your website and Pinterest boards, either with text or (better still) visual cues about product ingredients or usage.

For example, compare two images from the Williams Sonoma site, and you’ll see that one of them instantly conveys the utility of a new kind of measuring cup, while the other leaves you wondering — but it’s the latter image that the company features on its ownproduct page. Featuring the image that contains the most information about a product is the way to succeed on Pinterest.

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