Pinterest has been a major traffic driver for online holiday retail shopping over the past few years, and this coming holiday season, it looks set to be even bigger.
The visual-based social network pulls in more than 70 million active visitors each month, and they aren't just women - the male user base grew 74% in 2014, bringing the female to male ratio to 80:20. (Not that we need directions for manly projects, we just pin them for reference). Consistently, Pinterest is the second-ranked social network for driving e-commerce traffic, beat out only by Facebook.
And the network's shopability is still on the up and up - they're in the midst of rolling out "Buy It" buttons. Those adorbs fall boots can be more than just a starry-eyed dream, they can be on your feet within 3-5 business days too.
Here's Pinterest's big announcement:
"Buyable Pins will be discoverable through the same recommendations technology we've been building over the years, including home feed, search, category feeds and boards. We'll also be launching new search filters to find products based on price and color."
And a little taste of what it'll look like on your iPhones and iPads:
Why Pinterest Works So Well as a Shopping Network
When people log into Pinterest, they're already in the shopping mindset, that's what really sets the social network apart from others. Facebook and Twitter are geared toward social connections and Instagram is for admiration and discovery.
As Jill Sherman of DigitasLBi described Pinterest to AdWeek:
"People using the platform are generally in planning mode, so they're likely closer to place of [purchase] consideration. They're searching for things like 'how to decorate a modern nursery' or 'best camping gear for humid weather' to create their inspiration boards, so adding a buy button simply creates one less step in the path to purchase."
Why Pinterest is Such a Big Deal for Holiday Shopping
The online retail shopping process is being turned on its head, it no longer begins directly on the brand's site. 60% of Pinners use Pinterest during the holidays primarily for gift browsing and inspiration. The shopper is now the conductor as they key-in their own search filters.
It's the curated, browsable allure of Pinterest that makes it such a pivotal player in online retail shopping. It makes comparison shopping between brands far more accessible. Which means as we approach the 2015 holiday season, sprinkled with "Buy It" buttons galore, it'll be even more important for brands to build an attractive, differentiated, active presence on Pinterest. We're expecting the social network's shopping usage to bump up exponentially.
Favourite Pinterest Campaigns of Holidays Past
We've collected our top three favorite traffic-driving, cross-platform, undeniably enticing holiday Pinterest campaigns from holiday seasons past. GAP and Topshop both went the incentivized route, driving product awareness across channels. Target went the brand awareness route, hoping to lure in browsing Pinners who may not have immediately thought of Target for their holiday shopping.
GAP's "Pin to Win"
GAP created a board full of their own merchandise on Pinterest. Users repinned items they wanted from the board and Gap would comment on the pins to announce winners each week. Users could also post their holiday wish list boards on the Gap Facebook page, a great way to promote the campaign across social media platforms.
Topshop's "Dear Topshop"
This UK-based fashion retailer used Pinterest to power its online gift guide. Shoppers were incentivized to use #DearTopshop with their Topshop pins to add items to their wishlist. In the store, Topshop attached oversized tags to the most pinned in-store merchandise, and included a giant touchscreen at locations in New York and London, which allowed shoppers to pin while shopping in-store. The campaign retained loyal shoppers and drove a strong traffic to their social sites.
Target's "Elf on a Shelf"
Target's goal with this campaign wasn't to engage loyal customers. Instead, they built a fun campaign to primarily strengthen brand loyalty amongst potential customers browsing Pinterest for gift inspiration. Target decided to present users with engaging "Elf on the Shelf" content first. Users aren't exposed to the store's products until they actually click through to Target's Pinterest page. This was a lighthearted, non-intrusive way to invite Pinners in to explore the products without immediately shoving products into their browsing experience.
Now that I've given you a glimpse of the future of Pinterest - along with some of our favorite campaigns from the past - hopefully you'll find something valuable and relevant to your brand. Take this knowledge, along with an understanding of your consumer, and you'll have the perfect, pinnable recipe for success in the 2015 holiday season. Seasons Greetings.
Main image via Bloomua / Shutterstock