Pinterest: A Retailer’s Social Media Superman (part one)

By Jessica Moretti

Pinterest Faster than a speeding bullet and more powerful than a locomotive, it’s Pinterest, a retailer’s social media Superman! Pinterest gives you the capacity to skyrocket your brand exposure with a single click, and is one of the greatest social media channels to ramp up lead generation. If you are not yet marketing your retail store on Pinterest, then you are missing a serious opportunity to increase sales.

Pinterest has grown at a mind-blowing rate. Since May 2011 it has experienced an increase of more than 2,700 percent unique visitors, becoming the fastest independent site in history to hit 10 million U.S. monthly unique visitors. To top it off, nearly half of all Pinterest members have agreed that they use Pinterest to interact with retailers and brands that they enjoy. They are there to connect with you.

Pinterest beats Facebook in lead generation and sales referrals

There is no doubt that Facebook reigns for building and nurturing your relationships with customers, but when it comes to lead generation, product promotion and sales referrals, Pinterest is leaps and bounds ahead. A quick comparison of some key stats makes it easy to see why. Whether shopping for their home, family or friends, consumers are more likely to turn to Pinterest to find inspiration. More than 70 percent of Pinterest members use it to get ideas for gifts, home improvements and other products to purchase, Social mediacompared to the 17 percent that turn to Facebook. Similarly, 67 percent of Pinterest members use it to keep up with the latest trends in fashion, home decor and other interests, while only 22 percent do the same for Facebook.

The majority of Pinterest users are there to learn about new products and trends, and when they see something they want, they buy it.  In fact, 69 percent of online consumers have found an item on Pinterest that they have bought or wanted to buy, versus 40 percent of web consumers who visit Facebook. Pinterest has been proven to drive more traffic to retail web sites than other social networks. Take independent jewelry retailer Boticca, for example. After reviewing its website traffic sources, it found that 86 percent of Pinterest visitors were new to the site, compared to 57 percent from Facebook. Once they are on your site, Pinterest users spend more, too. Pinterest referrals generally spend 70 percent more money than visitors referred from non-social channels, and more than twice as much as Facebook referrals.

Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest are a winning triad

To be clear, Facebook and Twitter are essential business tools. They help retailers connect with and inform existing customers, and allow them to pick up a few new customers along the way. By adding Pinterest to your marketing mix, you not only get an additional channel to interact with existing customers, but it is easier to be found by new customers. All that is left is to learn how to easily integrate Pinterest into your current marketing strategy. In part two of this series, coming in the September issue of Independent Retailer magazine, retailers will learn how to use Pinterest’s super powers to become Kryptonite for big box retailers.