Growing Your Sales with Pinterest
Although Pinterest has only been around since 2010, the channel is already one of the leading social media platforms, with an estimated 100 million monthly users worldwide. Due to its relatively young age, Pinterest is still expanding at a considerable rate and is now valued at $11 billion .
Pinterest has quickly become a popular destination for users looking to browse, post and share images. But what about for retailers? In recent months, Pinterest has proven itself to be a big player in e-commerce, especially because so many of its users are searching for and "Pinning" images of products. (And those images can then link out to external sites.) As a result, it's an ideal fit for brands and retailers looking to get their products seen – and purchased – online.
Why Retailers Should Be on Pinterest
Product-driven advertising has become a powerful tool for retailers on social media outlets, and Pinterest is a fundamental part of this strategy. It can be a prosperous way for retailers to generate exposure and interact with their consumer base.
Because it's a giant in the social arena, Pinterest should be an integral part of retail social strategy. It's already second – behind Facebook – in providing referrals to websites, and it supplies at least four times the amount of referrals as Twitter ( see source ). And according to Business Insider , Pinterest generates the most social sharing of any social network, including Facebook.
The visual nature of Pinterest can help you provide information to buyers about your brand, share your products, draw buyers to your website and ultimately increase your sales.
Getting Your Product Pinned
Having your products on Pinterest isn't of much use if they're not being pinned and shared with Pinterest users and potential buyers. To inspire users to follow you, you'll need to create interesting and engaging posts and boards. Don't feel compelled to post your entire catalog on Pinterest – instead, select unique or culturally relevant products and themes that showcase your brand.
A mutually beneficial move for you and Pinterest is to include a "Pin It" button on your website's product pages. This enables people to share your product with Pinterest users, without having to leave your retail website. When experimenting with your pins, analyze what resonates with people and increases traffic and make adjustments accordingly.
Just like any other marketing strategy, measuring your results is key. Pinterest offers a robust analytics dashboard, which is free for Pinterest business accounts. Make sure you use this dashboard to gauge your success. From here you can measure repinned content, the number of users actively repinning and the total number of pins.
Regularly monitor your Pinterest metrics, begin to find what works and build on your success by optimizing your pins, including keywords, size, orientation and location. The overall aim should be to create the highest volume of pins via people repinning your posts.
Product Rich Pins
Available through a Pinterest business account, Rich Pins for products enable retailers to market their products and pins with greater detail and accuracy, potentially setting themselves apart from other retailers. Rich Pins add simple mediation to a user- or brand-generated pin.
The product Rich Pin can include a title, price, availability and your brand and logo. Pinterest users can often be incentivized to click on a Rich Pin because they realize they're going to receive more information on the product and a link to the retailer's website.
Price notifications are another practical addition. Users who pin a Rich Pin that is later reduced in price will receive a notification alerting them to the price drop. This is a unique way for retailers to notify shoppers about price changes and to interact with customers. Because both the Rich Pins and the Pinterest business account are free of charge, we strongly recommend that retailers take advantage of these options.
Currently a reservation-only program, Promoted Pins are Pinterest's foray into advertising. Retailers can promote specific pins to targeted audiences so that they show up in relevant search results and in users' home feeds. You'll be charged when people click through to your site.
Pinterest has been testing this program in beta, and the company reports that advertisers experienced about a 30% increase in earned media from their Promoted Pins campaigns ( see source ).
Note: Promoted Pins are available to only US-based businesses for now.
The ChannelAdvisor Solution
The ChannelAdvisor Social Commerce suite can help drive your social strategy even further on Pinterest. Though you don't need a product data feed to use Rich Pins, it's far easier to have one than not. Retailers that don't provide a product data feed must change their website to include a mark-up that indicates the data points the feed would contain. Due to the extensive extra time and effort this could require, ChannelAdvisor's product data feeds can be a valuable and far quicker alternative. Learn how to use ChannelAdvisor Flex Feeds to promote your products with Pinterest Rich Pins .
ChannelAdvisor also inserts tracking, enabling retailers to view traffic and conversions from Rich Pins. Additionally, retailers can easily insert their own tracking through the ChannelAdvisor platform. Optimizing product titles is also far simpler through the software.
As Pinterest continues its rapid growth, more consumers are trusting the network to recommend quality products. As a result, it's an ideal channel for online retailers to understand and develop a strong presence on. ChannelAdvisor offers you the opportunity to expand Pinterest's already valuable social and retail capabilities so that you can increase brand awareness and sales.