Can eCommerce Pass the Social Test by Putting Products on Pinterest?
Industry insiders are definitely getting excited. There’s a buzz on the social media networks and it won’t be too long before some market commenters start saying it can’t last. It’s as if another dotcom bubble may appear to be wildly inflating out of control. Who will be the first to murmur that certain competitors may have a vested interest in putting a pin into Pinterest?
An increasing number of websites have started adding Pinterest alongside their Facebook, Twitter and Google+ buttons. A sign of the search and social times, into which the online world continues to evolve. Following a further funding injection of $100m (£63m), the latest news is that Pinterest has been valued at more than $1bn (£632m), which seems to show belief in the company’s continuing meteoric rise.
The social site, which allows individuals and businesses to ‘pin’ a curated selection of interesting image content, was only launched in March 2010. Following a first funding in October 2011, by December, Pinterest was flagged up by internet data analysts, Experian Hitwise as zooming into the social networks Top 10 with 11 million visits per week. ComScore claim that in April 2012, Pinterest had gained over 20 million users, a staggering rise from just the 1 million users in July 2011.
So how do all the heady figures translate to the average SME and eCommerce site? A significant number of brands now take advantage of Pinterest to freely advertise their products without any cost attached. But given that, currently, 80 per cent of users are females aged between 25 to 44, is Pinterest of value to all eCommerce categories - and worth the time and effort required to be most effective at social media marketing strategies?
Part of the answer lies with the view that some eCommerce site owners might have of Pinterest and social networking sites in general. No doubt, many site owners are now looking to become more involved with the search and social process and integrating with their online marketing activities. They recognise the impact it’s having upon consumer behaviour, the online and shopping experience and the more interactive way users now want to engage with companies rather than an anonymous brand identity.
The first sensible move is to step out of the traditional mindset. It’s more than likely that Pinterest could be mistakenly seen as a straightforward transaction site rather than a social space where both eCommerce and their customers can discover, engage and organise content. Defined as a social ‘shopping window’ experience yet presented as a social ‘interest’ site, Pinterest is being seen as “next generation” search and social, based on ‘interest’ curation rather than a separate search or social strategy.
Pinterest presents eCommerce with yet another superlative opportunity to show their company or brand’s more ‘personal side’ via participating in their customer/ visitor product and shopping interests. A more creative and personalised web presence can be created which, ultimately, aims to encourage trust, authority and an invaluable sales and feedback channel.
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