June 03, 2013

Pinterest Emerging as Leader of Social Commerce

It’s been said that a picture is worth a 1,000 words. For today’s businesses, however, a picture might just be worth a bit more thanks to one of the latest social media trends: Pinterest.

In the height of the social media craze, businesses everywhere are brainstorming ways to harness their power and profit from the booming industry by implementing digital media strategies to augment brand awareness and drive thought leadership. Recently, talk has surrounded developing the potential of social commerce, or conducting business through social media channels. And it appears that Pinterest is demonstrating the most promise.

According to a recent article by Business Insider, Pinterest—the online billboard on which users collect and “pin” their favorite pictures of products, styles, recipes and more—is emerging as the leader of referrals among social media competitors. Monetate’s quarterly e-commerce report identified Pinterest as the number one referrer to e-commerce sites, beating out other big names such as Facebook, Twitter and StumbleUpon.

While Facebook’s share of referrals within the first quarter of 2013 dropped from 62 to 55 percent, Pinterest’s share increased from 18 to 25 percent. Pinterest also demonstrated the highest average order value at $80.54.

It’s not hard to imagine why. Besides the evident appeal of the site’s visual nature, Pinterest, at its core, is designed to allow users to essentially create a smorgasbord of wish lists. After scrolling through pages upon pages of consumer eye-candy, it only takes one click before the user can be transferred to the original web source of the product. Suddenly, a user finds himself just a credit card number and a click away from making a purchase.

Another Business Insider article cited other reasons for Pinterest’s success in the social commerce realm including a largely female demographic and ease of mobile use.

However, Pinterest still has room to grow in the social commerce sector. Progress remains to be made on converting many of these referrals into sales. Regardless, though there have been doubts as to the validity of social commerce, Pinterest’s promising role in referrals presents businesses looking to capitalize on its potential with a glimmer of optimism.

Edited by Carrie Schmelkin

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