Browsing in e-commerce is a more difficult problem than search. Wherein Search Engines are targeted towards keywords, Pinterest is focusing on visual impact of the medium and is focusing on window shopping.
Pinterest has come up as a new social media darling and is one of the biggest web success stories of past 12 months. Its growing influence on fashion and product oriented web sites is now extending to e-commerce sites. It’s already surpassed 11 million user accounts and leading to no fewer than a dozen news headlines a day right now. As of March 2012, Pinterest is valued at $1.5 billion. At the 2012 Webby Awards, Pinterest won best social media app and people’s voice award for best functioning visual design.
- Pinterest.com was launched in March 2010.
- By January 2012, the site had 11.7 million unique users, making it the fastest site in history to break through the 10 million unique visitor mark.
- In March 2012, Pinterest.com became the third largest social network in the United States surpassing Linkedin and Tagged.
- Pinterest has more than 20 million users as on date.
- Millions of new “pins” are added to the site every week.
- Popular categories on Pinterest are travel, cars, film, humor, home design, sports, fashion and art.
- 68.2 percent of those using Pinterest are women with popular categories being food & drink, DIY & crafts, and women’s apparel
- 50 percent of Pinterest users have children.
- The average time spent on Pinterest is 15.8 minutes, compared to 12.1 minutes on Facebook.
- The 25 to 34 age group comprises the largest percentage of Pinterest users, at 27.4 percent. Those aged 35 to 44 are the second largest group, at 22.1 percent.
Pinterest which is a pinboard-style social photo sharing website allows users to create and manage theme-based image collections such as events, interests, hobbies, and more. Users can browse other pinboards for inspiration, re-pin images to their own collections or ‘like’ photos.
Pinboards are generally themed so that pins can easily be organized, categorized and discovered by other users. Basically, it acts as a personalized media platform, whereby your own content as well as anyone else’s uploaded pins can be browsed on the main page. Users can then save their favorite pins to one of their own boards using the “Pin It” button.
Quick links to Pinterest include the “pin it” button that can be added to the bookmark bar of a web browser, “Follow me” and “Pin it” buttons added to personal website or blog page and the Pinterest iPhone application available through the App Store.
Pinterest is leading a new way to e-commerce wherein the customer is served a highly visual, grid-like layout. Pinboard’s collections and boards encourages users to hoard images. Today, e-commerce companies are optimizing their websites to benefit from “pinning” which means they are taking their design cues from Pinterest itself and are starting to resemble the traffic generating engine. There are many websites that are using the Pinterst like user interface.
According to Shareaholic, Pinterest “drives more referral traffic than Google Plus, LinkedIn and YouTube combined.” Clearly, if your company makes, hawks, or sells tangible products or destinations, Pinterest has obvious appeal. Pinterest started 2012 at about 0.85 percent of traffic visits on the web and at the end of August 2012 was at 1.84 percent of all visits.
Being so visual, Pinterest also drives conversions and most of the e-retailers will be inclined to ensure a look n feel more aligned to Pinterst for their web site. Online shopping continues to become more of a rich experience as customers are more open to a visual shopping experience. Pinterest is leveraging the concept of visual and rich experience for customers to the optimum level possible. The web design provides an ideal layout for “style conscious retailers” where products can easily be visualized within a consumer context. Companies like The Gap, Chobani, Nordstrom and West Elm use Pinterest as a tool for online referrals that link users with similar interests to a company. Even the websites like e-bay which is one of the biggest of all the commerce sites has also announced a grid-influenced page.
Success of Pinterest is leading people to copy the Pinterest’s design, mostly because now the majority of the people understand how these visual grids work. But to copy it outright might not be a good idea for retailers. Why? Because while grid design is good for quick discovery of goods, it is still important to make the buyer take the final step: shop.
Just because Pinterest is all the rage does not necessarily mean it’s right for your company—or that you should divert your attention from other marketing initiatives to rush to Pinterest. As with any of the other social media platforms, using Pinterest poorly could be more damaging to your brand image than it is helpful.
Pinterest is exceptionally easy to browse and keeps it users engaged for long periods of time. Its simple design and grid like representation make it fairly easy for surfing of content (images) with least effort. As of late January 2012, Pinterest’s user base was predominantly educated (80 percent had a bachelor’s degree or higher) Midwestern females aged 25-44. Many consumer goods and retail companies would describe this demographic as their “sweet spot.”
It’s the photo scrapbook of hopes, dreams and desires for grown-ups, mostly those of the female persuasion. And that raises the question of whether that’s actually a healthy thing for grown women to be spending time compiling a virtual hope chest.
Pinterest addiction may appear to be a fad, however a serious consideration may be required on its impact on the employee workplace productivity that social media has already deteriorated.
Things you must know before using Pinterest as a User
Pinterest users use it for everything from planning their weddings to decorating their homes and the website encourages users to share “all the beautiful things you find on the web.” But could you get in trouble with each pin and repin?
The issue is that the users of Pinterest are posting content that is protected by copyright and therefore they are probably infringing copyright.” While it may not be illegal, atypical user is running the risk of getting into legal issues.
Chances of a Pinterest user facing legal problems because of copyright infringement is bleak as the site is a actually acting as a means of free promotion for the companies/ copyright owners by the way of Pinterest users pining/ re-pining them. And most of the copyright owners would not mind getting free promotion.
Pinterest has also taken steps to protect copyright owners. It has changed its terms and conditions to make it easier to complain and removing pictures, if need be. There is also a provision of no-pin tag that informs users that the owner of the image does not want to get it pinned. Just fyi, there are no current lawsuits involving copyright violations and Pinterest.