The Huge Social Media Opportunity Your Online Store Is Missing

October 6, 2015 by Leah Na'aman

Sure, you’re probably on Facebook and Twitter, maybe even LinkedIn, but is your online store missing out on one of the biggest social media opportunities out there?

Shopping is a very visual experience. We like to see what we’re getting so we can decide whether it suits our style, our ideas, our expectations. Every single one of us can probably remember a few occasions where we ended up purchasing something we didn’t need just because we liked the look of it!

Because of this, images are a huge selling opportunity for ecommerce businesses and no, Facebook and Twitter won’t cut it. Here is the one social media platform you should be utilizing if you run an online store.

Pinterest is just a vanity project – WRONG!

Despite the overwhelming number of ‘Pinners’ out there, Pinterest is a shamefully underused tool that digital marketers continue to overlook.

Pinterest recently gathered data about the relationship the social media site had with online shoppers and the results should not be ignored.

  • Entrepreneurs take note: Pinterest was found to be the second highest overall source of social media traffic to Shopify stores.
  • Most impressively, the average sale coming from Pinterest was $50. This figure is higher than the average sale from any other mainstream social platform.
  • If that doesn’t change your mind, this should: 93% of Pinners use the platform to plan their purchases.

How does Pinterest work?

It can seem a little overwhelming when you first click onto the site, but really, it’s very simple. Think of the memo board in your office. Now imagine that you have a specific theme for this, be it ‘marketing ideas’ or ‘clients’. On Pinterest, this is what’s called your ‘board’.

Now think about the individual scraps of paper, postcards, sticky notes you have on this office memo board. On Pinterest, these are called a ‘Pin’.

Users ‘Pin’ images they find on the social media platform or around the internet onto their chosen ‘boards’ and there you have the foundation of Pinterest.

Basically, they’re online inspiration or organizational boards.

Pinterest 1

How can Pinterest get me sales?

Pinterest users create ‘boards’ under certain themes and fill them with relevant images that inspire them. So you may have a Pinner who loves cycling. He’ll have a board titled ‘Cycling Trails’ filled with images of amazing biking routes around the world he wants to complete. He may also have another board titled ‘Dream Bikes’ filled with top-of-the-line bikes he wants to invest in.

In that one scenario, there is a huge opportunity for regular travel companies, adventure travel companies and cycling stores to make a customer of this man. If their links are on any of those pins, they have a really good chance of earning a lot of money from just one picture.


Pinterest and SEO

It’s not just about direct sales though. When you see pictures pinned on a Pinterest board, each one has a link to the site, blog post or online store the item was found on. As these get repinned by other users, your links spread across the social media platform, encountering more potential clients.

Now, while links on Pinterest won’t boost your site’s SEO in the same way Twitter links do, bloggers often use images from Pinterest to create ‘Wish list’ posts on their sites, which means your link can end up on someone’s blog, providing you with an SEO boost.

How do I make Pinterest work for my online store?

As we said, when it comes to driving new business to your online store, Pinterest is second only to Facebook, so the first thing to do is to make your ecommerce site as Pinterest-friendly as possible.

The best way to do this is to make each image on your site ‘pinnable’. This allows users to hover over the image, click a Pin button and be able to add your product to one of their boards.

Magento has a Pinterest “Pin It” Button Extension that is completely free and has even resulted in products from their clients’ sites going viral on Pinterest.

Pinterest and ‘buyable pins’

The news broke among tech and marketing writers at the start of June, but on June 30th, Pinterest formally announced on their blog that the Buyable Pins project was being rolled out. This allows users to buy from online stores through connecting Pins on Pinterest.

“When you’re ready to check out, tap Buy it and pay with Apple Pay or a credit card, right in the app. Once you enter your personal info, we’ll save it so you don’t have to enter it in again next time. In just a few more taps, your purchase will be on its way to your doorstep and you’ll be right back to Pinning.”

For now, Buyable Pins are currently being rolled out across the US, but will undoubtedly become worldwide once kinks and bugs are ironed out.

Retailers can’t promote their buyable Pins on the platform yet and have to rely on organic traffic, but sponsored Pins will definitely be a feature of social site’s revenue generator in the future.

Will you be ready to capitalize when that happens?



Ravit Sasson

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