For a social media site not even two years old, Pinterest has been generating quite a fuss lately—traffic to the site increased 329% from September to December 2011. Let’s face it, Pinterest is the Jeremy Lin of the web and online retailers won’t want to be late to this game.
Pinterest is a unique photo sharing forum which allows users to “pin” images of things they like—a photo of the Chateau Frontenac to their “Vacations” board, witty ecards to a board dedicated to humor or even (especially!) a photo of that great new minidress to their “Birthday Wishlist” board. These images are then linked to the source site and followers can either repin the image or follow the link. Because of this inherent functionality, Pinterest is driving referral traffic to apparel retailers—more so than even Google+, YouTube, Reddit, LinkedIn and MySpace combined and growing every day, increasing 289% in the second half of last year.
Suddenly, brands are waking up to the possibilities Pinterest can offer them. More and more brands are starting their own pin boards, from Urban Outfitters to Williams-Sonoma. They use these boards in different ways but they all increase consumer engagement. For a brand like American Eagle Outfitters, it’s also a way to promote a lifestyle by including images that relate to their brand story, not just images of their own products. If Abercrombie & Fitch taught us anything in the late 1990’s, it’s that consumers will pay top dollar to buy into a lifestyle.
Monetate is calling Pinterest “the next social commerce game changer” and its growth seems endless. Commerce, in our opinion, is the inevitable next step.