Considering its success and the numerous reports trying to find a correlation between it and online purchases, Pinterest has attracted a lot of attention from businesses and marketers trying to discover just how valuable the site is to them. Whether it increases purchases or not is still subject to debate, but more and more online retailers are beginning to incorporate it into their social media strategy.
Amazon has added itself onto the list by providing a Pinterest button for those who want to make a note of a product. Discovered by Ryan Spoon, the site has included it with its usual Facebook and Twitter plugins so that users have another area to share it. Yet they aren’t the first ecommerce site to add such functionality, eBay added the same in recent times also, but for specific goods.
While there’s a Pinterest button for fashion, gadgets and cooking products, there doesn’t seem to be one for electronics or games, meaning that eBay is allowing said functionality for products that they know will get repinned instead of offering a repin button across the board.
Different Sites, Different Functions
So what’s to take from this apart from this inclusion? First of all, the move to accomodate Pinterest is a rather obvious one. We’re seeing more and more that consumers are attracted to visual content – one only has to look at the success of images and videos posts on a Facebook page to notice – and because Pinterest’s appeal is visual links, it ties into product advertisement perfectly.
Secondly these sites realise that while Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest are popular sites, they serve different functions and reach different audiences. This becomes more apparent when you see that eBay has limited the pin button to certain goods, showing that their strategy is more than including Pinterest for the sake of it.
Also, when you take into account that most of those Pinterest user has it as an app on Facebook, it means that the content shared reaches a far greater audience.
However, the only real problem from a business perspective is that there’s no research to suggest how much of an effect the site has on consumer habits and whether pinning something will lead to a purchase.
The closest we’ve have to research is a recent survey from PriceGrabber which found that 21 per cent of those people who said they are Pinterest users purchased a product after seeing it on Pinterest, most frequently clothing, food or home decorating materials. The caveat, however, is that PriceGrabber is a price comparison shopping site, so it may be a while before more solid findings emerge for businesses to work from.