Pinterest, the third fastest growing social network after Facebook and LinkedIn with approximately 21% of Americans (which makes around 70 million users) is a great referral traffic source for retailers to generate sales. According to predictions by experts, Pinterest is expected to bring LinkedIn down from its second position during this year.
Compared to Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter, females are found to be more active over Pinterest (roughly around 79 percent). Based on a report by The Center for Emerging Females Leadership it has been observed that 22 percent women shop online daily at least once. Therefore, Pinterest offers a unique opportunity to retailers for targeting females based on demographics.
Now let’s take a look at what the top retail brands are doing to tap this market and make the most ROI on Pinterest.
Using pins to generate leads
A report published by Piqora shows that during the last quarter of 2013 every single pin generated at least two visits, with an average of six page views resulting sales of 78 cents whereas based on another report it was revealed that almost half of the orders placed were 3 months after a pin was posted.
Moreover, according to another study, e-commerce sites in US also confirmed that Pinterest sent 10 percent of the referral traffic they received during the holiday season in 2013.
Translating Pinterest trends to boost in-store sales
Zara’s and Home Depot, two of the top 10 leading brands on Pinterest, don’t just promote their products through pins but also use their analysis of user interest to finalize in-store placements and promotional moves.
Target ran this activity with two types of new tags “Popular on Pinterest” and “Top Pinned on Pinterest”. You can probably guess the results they achieved, but you can see it in action here:
Benefiting from Pinterest’s authority on search engines
Due to its popularity, even boards on Pinterest are considered authority pages by search engines and when users search with words like ideas and DIY, there is a high probability that results from Pinterest are among the top ten.
If you wish to get your boards and pins discovered by users in Pinterest or on Google, try creating boards based on specific themes and organizing pins in them accordingly. Also make sure to fill in appropriate descriptions for the boards and select tags that define your images.
Retailers should also use their brand name on the profile and brand identity as profile image so that users on Pinterest can easily recognize and identify them.
Compelling engagement to boost conversions
Higher engagement is the key to increased conversions, which is nearly impossible without eye-catching images on Pinterest. When we talk about eye-catching images, there are certain ‘shoulds’ and ‘should nots’, which you need to remember before selecting an image to pin.
- Use images with one dominant colour.
- Use solid background especially white.
- Use images that focus only on faces.
- Use images with rich information e.g. real-time pricing so that users can get complete information about the product there and then without visiting your website.
- Product images should be directly linked to the product page on the website.
- Use an inspirational keyword rich description so that when users search on Pinterest they are able to discover your pins based on the keywords.
Best time to Pin
Based on another research, the ideal time for retailers to post a pin is between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. or 8 p.m. and 1 a.m. This is when majority of the Pinterest users are online. However avoid posting between 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. as most of the users are off for dinner or watching TV.
Building a following on Pinterest
Although every retailer or brand has its own strategies for gaining followers on Pinterest, here are a few of the most successful ones:
- Attach “Pin it” buttons on your product pages.
- Run strategic email campaigns e.g. promoting a board to the customers who has already bought a product from the same category.
- Display the most popular pins on your website. This will not only help gain followers but will also help influence the buying behavior of your customers.
- Display most pinned products in your store with a label that lets customers know about popular items from the store. Target is actively utilizing this strategy because it has been observed that products with the ‘top pinned’ label have way more sales compared to other similar products available in the store.