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Pinterest and retail: a new kind of e-commerce experience

Laetitia Verdier Written by: Laetitia Verdier April 25, 2014  

Pin it Win it

Social networking sites have become more visual. This is especially the case of Pinterest. The site, which consists of images and videos arranged in a bulletin board style layout, has become one of the largest social networks in US. Unlike Facebook and Twitter, which rely on content from a network of friends and followers, Pinterest focuses on the “interest graph” and is made up of people who gather around topics of interest rather than relationships.

It drives more traffic to websites than Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and YouTube, according to some reports. One in five, Pinterest users purchase an item they have seen on the site, twice that of Facebook buyers. Pinterest’s recent valuation at $3.8 billion suggests that a huge amount of potential is seen in the way the social network could bridge pins with purchases.

Data provided by AddShoppers, which relies on tracking code embedded on thousands of retailers’ websites worldwide to determine whether sales revenue can be attributed to a referral from a social media site. As recently as last year, Pinterest accounted for just 2% of social commerce, while Facebook dominated with a whopping 55% of social e-commerce sales. Pinterest’s rapid emergence as an important social commerce platform is reflective of its visual and product focus, which makes it a natural partner for e-commerce.


How to add a “Pin it” Button or Widget to your Product Pages

Adding a Pin it button or widget to product pages on your website provides an easy way for people to share your content on their boards.
4 steps to create a button or widget:

  1. 1. Go to the Widget Builder page. 5 types of buttons or widgets are available: Pin it button, Follow button, Pin Widget, Profile Widget, and Board Widget.

Pinterest offers buttons and widgets for use on ecommerce websites

Pinterest offers buttons and widgets for use on ecommerce websites

2. Click on the option you wish to embed. Depending on the one chosen, you may be required to include additional information such as the URL where the button or widget will appear and an image to associate with it.
3. Click “Build It!” to create the widget code.
4. Copy the HTML and JavaScript code to include on your website.

How to embed a Pinterest Boards on your Website
The Board Widget enables users to embed entire pin boards on their website.
For example, furniture and home decor retailer “West Elm” shares its most popular pins on its website.

Include Product Pins
Pinterest recently created a new type of product-related pin called “Rich Pins” that includes details like pricing, availability, and where to buy. According to Pinterest, rich product pins offer several advantages:

• Get higher click-through rates than regular pins;
• Make your brand more visible because your logo is on the pin;
• Product pins are more likely to appear in a category feed, like Men’s Fashion or Gifts;
• Include automatically updated details, like price changes.
• Pinterest also offers more marketing potential than other social networks.pinterest6

Product pins include real-time pricing and availability

Monitoring Pinterest helps to better understand customers and targets
Re-pinning – or re-sharing – content pinned by other users improves brand authenticity and customer relationships with your brand, products and services. It demonstrates that you value their engagement and so it’s a great way to appear authentic (and gain consumer loyalty).

Topshop and Pantone’s Pinterest strategies are great examples of best practice profiling. Smart brands now use their collected images as a way to tell their story, whether that be on web pages, through social media conversations or even direct messages to mobile or email inboxes. Why not think of Pinterest as a virtual storefront? Retail companies have taken particular advantage of Pinterest for advertising and style trending.


(Images from MDGadvertising and Unmetric.)

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