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Pinterest referrals are 10 percent more likely to convert

4 Jun 2014


Pinterest, the place to “discover ideas for all your projects and interests”, has become an important social media tool for retailers to engage with, and it seems that for e-tailers who are struggling to convert from Twitter and Facebook could find Pinterest to be more receptive.

According to research by e-commerce solutions provider ChannelAdvisor, US buyers referred by Pinterest are 10 percent more likely to follow through with a purchase compared to visitors clicking through from other social networking platforms. It notes that Pinterest is already second behind Facebook in providing referrals to websites, and it supplies at least three times the amount of referrals as Twitter.

Data that is backed up by a recent Shopify study, which found that for a second quarter in a row that Pinterest was leading the US e-commerce conversion rates on its Shopify-owned stores. With Pinterest generating a 79 percent increase in order growth for 2013 and that the top categories on Pinterest were for its fashion, apparel and accessories businesses.

As a result, ChannelAdvisor’s marketing director of EMEA, Zoe Ripley, said: “It’s important that retailers explore Pinterest’s offering and communicate on platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. For example, retailers might want to consider using a ‘Pin It’ button on website product pages, which enable shoppers to share products with on Pinterest without leaving the retail website.”

ChannelAdvisor also found that of the 66 percent of e-tailers surveyed, from across the fashion, apparel, health, beauty, grocery and entertainment sectors, who were using social media that only a third stated that they were experiencing any ‘positive business benefits or spikes’ in customer engagement. With Twitter being the most popular platform, closely followed by Facebook, but neither one was having a “perceived impact” on sales.

The survey also noted that two thirds of retailers noted that they had yet to see any “direct business benefits” as a result of embracing social media, and that Pinterest was the platform most “underused by businesses”.

However, retailers who understand how Pinterest can showcase their brand have really shown results, with Pinterest showcasing some of its ‘success stories’ on its new business portal to help inspire brands to embrace the social platform.

Nordstrom share their Pinterest success story

One of those success stories is US retailer Nordstrom, an early adopter of Pinterest, which uses the social network to tell their “visual trend story”. They use the platform to not only curate popular products from Nordstrom.com, but also by including inspirational images from blogs customers love, on-trend fashion and helpful tutorials. They’ve also added the ‘Pin It’ button to its website so customers can easily pin their favourite items.

“Our goal is to inspire customers - in the way they shop, share and Pin,” explains Bryan Galipeau, Nordstrom’s social media manager. “One of the things we love most about Pinterest is that customers can get inspired and take an action on their own terms. In many ways, it’s the world’s biggest wish list.”

Galipeau added: “Each month, customers engage with our Pins hundreds of thousands of times, generating millions of impressions and significant site traffic and demand.”

Nordstrom, which currently has more than 4.4 million followers, also brings Pinterest to their 117 physical stores by featuring ‘Top Pinned’ signs on merchandise in women’s shoes and handbags, two of the most pinned categories from Nordstrom.com.

Pinterest tips retailers should embrace – add a ‘Pin It’ button to your website product pages and embrace ‘Rich Pins’ available through a Pinterest business account that allows retailers to showcase greater detail and quality of products. They also allow more detail including a title, price, availability and brand logo. In addition, utilise the price notifications tool, which will mean that users who pin a product that is later reduced in price will receive a notification alerting them to the price drop, especially useful to drive traffic to important sales.

Image: Nordstrom Pinterest