Here are some of the factors that make Pinterest a natural fit for most ecommerce websites.
The Visual Factor
There are several aspects of Pinterest that make it appealing to ecommerce sites. But the most important is its format, which is entirely visual. Because online sellers promote their products through photos, having a place where you do nothing but post, share and link those images is the perfect way to bring people to your site.
Through creating different pinboards, you have the opportunity to direct attention to very specific items. This allows you to harvest profits on products that might be too niche to otherwise qualify for any serious marketing budget.
Likewise, you can create "lookbooks" for different seasons, posting photos of coming products and promoting sales.
Because Pinterest works on an internal sharing system, you only have to post the originals once, and you will see them spread all over the site. Each time one of your images is repinned, it carries with it the original link to your Pinterest profile, and to the product page that you have anchored as the external link. You can also place the link to your product page within the image description.
As for referral traffic, there are better sources in the online world. Still dominated by Google, there is also Facebook and Yahoo to contend with. But data has shown an impressive increase in the percentage of traffic referral coming from Pinterest. Pinterest has overtaken Twitter in terms of the amount of traffic it drove to other websites. It has also often overtaken Bing and StumbleUpon on the same metric. With this trend likely to continue, ecommerce businesses should focus more intention on Pinterest.
Top Tips for Using Pinterest for Ecommerce
- Make Sure to Look Good
It's easy to let a Pinterest account look unprofessional, thanks to the general interface. Regularly organize your pinboards, customize your profile page, use attractive and unique board covers and, if possible, do something clever that others have not done.
- Place Pinterest Buttons on Your Product Pages
Many people prefer to socially share products by clicking the Pin button on a page. This ensures that get a proper link to your product page out of the deal. It also gives users a secondary means of sharing, rather than through the Pin It toolbar button that might not work on your site.
- Protect Yourself With Watermarks
Plagiarism is rampant online. Especially on Pinterest, there is a lot of noise about copyright infringement. The best way to ensure that your site gets its due credit, even if your image is reuploaded or pulled from an unauthorized source, is by placing a watermark in your photo. Just a small one at the bottom with your company name and URL to the ecommerce website should suffice.
- Use Descriptive Text Too
Just because Pinterest is about images, doesn't mean that text should be entirely forsaken. You need to give context to your images, especially product images. A quick description is always appreciated, as is a price tag. This works especially well with special promotions or sales, giving you the chance to advertise the lower cost in a way that is easy to share.
- Be Social
Repin and follow others too. There is nothing worse that being entirely one-sided on a social platform. Because of its purpose, directly engaging consumers is a little trickier on Pinterest. To get around that, you should repin, comment on, and like other people's images. Just do so in a strategic manner, focusing on images related to your brand. You can also have separate boards for pinning things you find funny, useful, or inspiring.
- Use Tagging Effectively
Tag other people in your posts. Pinterest uses a similar tagging as Twitter. So @screenname commands, #hashtags, and live searches all work. This is a great way of managing reputation and speaking directly to customers -- including addressing concerns, or thanking them for supporting your company. Just tag people in specific posts, responding to their images. Or use #hashtags to associate them to your company, or your brand's genre.
You might have noticed the similarities between using Pinterest and other social media websites for ecommerce. This is because the basics of online social engagement are the same. The only difference is that you are focusing on visual content, and letting it propagate more naturally. As long as you post regularly, and make sure that your content is unique and high quality, you will gain attention in a short span of time.
Note: It is not just important to know what to do on Pinterest, but also what not to do. If you agree, you might want to read: How Not to Use Pinterest for Ecommerce.
Disclaimer: In this article there are some comparisons between Pinterest and other websites. The underlying data is dynamic and will change across time periods. If you are going to make any important decisions based on such information, you should obtain the latest information.