What’s Your Pinterest Plan?
The press generated by Pinterest this year is so over-the-top positive that it borders on hyperbole. Is there really something there? Does the emperor own a finely-tailored wardrobe, a tracksuit, or nothing at all? The truth is somewhere in between, but for retailers and manufacturers Pinterest has become a must-embrace platform.
One of the best-known Pinterest statistics being bandied about is that 80% of Pinterest users are female (She-Conomy). That’s a staggeringly high percentage, especially when you consider that over 85% of consumer purchases — everything from autos to health care — are made by women (TheNextWeb).
Not only does Pinterest have a lot of women users, but the age range of all Pinterest users forms a beautiful bell curve that’s in line with many, if not most, major manufacturers and retailers’ target markets. (InternetMarketingInc):
18-24: 17% of users
25-34: 30% of users
35-44: 25% of users
45-54: 16% of users
What’s really impressive is that 21% of Pinterest users say they’ve purchased something that they found on a board (AllThingsD), and Pinterest continues to pass Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and YouTube for the number of referrals, or users who click through to a website (ShareAHolic).
From this, it’s easy to see that Pinterest offers a viable and effective merchandising and marketing playground for retailers and manufacturers. The challenge, as always with a new channel, is to be able to shift resources to enable merchandising content to be displayed and featured in a way that conforms with technical criteria and user preferences.
One key production requirement is making a shift from Flash to HTML (see our Browser Wars post). Since Flash content doesn’t display in Pinterest, existing online content may need to be refreshed or replaced. And making sure that HTML content is viewable and “pinnable” not only on desktops and laptops, but also on handheld devices is another critical step. As tablet devices become more prevalent and users shift from their laptops to their iPads, particularly in the evening hours, (CNet) it becomes even more important to deliver Pinterest-ready eMerchandising content that is optimized for every category.
Finally, retailer and manufacturer eMerchandisers need to give consideration to the subject matter mix of content pinned to Pinterest, as this channel appeals to users’ hobbies, interests, passions, and avocations..by definition not a shopping channel pure-play. This means composing a content bouquet of art and commerce, layering images that are delicious eye candy along with mouthwatering SKU based images. The less commercial looking, the greater their ability to visually merchandise product offerings. Kudos to early adopters such as Lowe’s, Gap, and Williams-Sonoma who are setting a high bar among a baker’s dozen of leading retailers that are paving the way.
Pinterest is a rich and growing platform with enormous commercial potential for retailers and manufacturers. Do you have a Pinterest eMerchandising strategy?