Tuesday, March 13, 2012

How To Get Sales Through Pinterest: For Retailers

Updated February, 2013 to include some recent updates.

With almost 15 million users and reports of retailers getting more sales through Pinterest than Facebook, Twitter and Google+ combined, Pinterest has become a relevant and important resource for retailers.

The question can be raised, HOW could a bunch of pictures result in sales at store level? And, HOW does one control what others will “pin”?

Here is some helpful data:
  1.  Pinterest is a virtual pin board. Shoppers can pin images through their mobile app (snap a photo and then tag) and also pin an image you find online (Facebook images can not be pinned) or "repin" from another person's boards. “Look at these shoes I found from Kate Spade!” or “Idea for upcoming baby shower, vegan vanilla cupcakes from XYZ Bake Shop!” These are typically images of items that the Pinner likes and wants others to know about (free promotion).
  2. In order to pin you will need to install a bookmarklet within your bookmarks bar. Directions are found on the Pinterest GOODIES PAGE
  3. A “Pinner” can then categorize these images by “boards”. Popular boards include fashion (by season or style), wedding ideas, party planning, recipes and interior design.
  4. You may wonder how this all could result in SALES? When one pins from a website the image then becomes an active link to the source of the image. Thus, promoting the actual product AND the origin site. Hopefully, the image of those cute pair of shoes was found on the website where those shoes can then be purchased. That is where the ROI kicks in.
  5. The biggest demographics of “Pinners” are women and many are between the ages of 20-35. Many are noted to be stay-at-home moms. Products that are targeted to that demographic will get the most response.
  6. There are several reports of independent shops, designers, Etsy stores and the like getting more
    traffic from Pinterest than Facebook, Twitter and Google+ combined.
  7. You will find that the noted image source (website) is a blog more often than not. Ideally the blogger notes where the items featured can be found. Thus, it is important that you get the ball rolling by ensuring your products have ample (and appealing) images on your website . Also by posting onto your pinboard the images so that they are getting repined from your site as the source.
  8. Pinterest was initially invitation only but more recently became available openly. 
  9.  It is recommended (as with all social activities) that you not only promote your product and services but be both personal and interactive. You should not only be likinging and repinning but also posting some fun and inspirational boards. The largest chunk of your social activities should be more about building a relationship and driving in additional interest through connections.
  10. Hashtags (#) apply in the same way that they do in Twitter and on Google+. Be sure to label your posts so that they can be easily found. (Example: #socialmedia #pinteresttip)
  11. You may want to include a "pin it" button within your product listings or add it to your blog or website - FIND BUTTONS HERE
  12. Pinterest now has a managing dashboard where you can schedule posts in advance. Known as Pingraphy you now have the ability to view statistics and schedule pins from an external dashboard.

Update as of Feb 2013

1. Many retailers and websites are now incorporating a "Pin it" button (or "widget") directly within their websites next to product images or an icon pops up when hovering over the image.
To guarantee pin-ability, include a "Pin it" button directly on your site so that a "pinner" can easily "pin" from anywhere.
This blog has a pink, glitter watermark that fits her branding perfectly.
Get widget codes: HERE

2. Tools to "pin-ify" your website or blog HERE
3. Be sure you make products available if they are becoming popular on Pinterest to avoid this issue.
4.  "Curalate, an amazing tool that (among tons of other features) uses image recognition technology to 'see' which images are being pinned, says that '48 percent of top retailers’ most popular products on Pinterest link back to expired pages.' Their CEO, Apu Gupta, raises a very important question: How much money are these brands leaving on the table?" - Social Media Examiner
5. Center a game or competition around Pinterest.
Click to expand

To learn more!
- Pinterest 101

- Webinar by WhizBang! Training on how to set up and use Pinterest for retailers

- 26 tips to fully utilize Pinterest

- Additional resources to help you manage your social media

This article was brought to you by One Step Retail Solutions a leading retail technology service provider and reseller.
Our Pinterest site includes pinboards with retail tips and important retail trends.