Want To Increase Your Sales With Pinterest?

    October 27, 2012
    Chris Crum
    Comments are off for this post.

This week, comScore put out its monthly list of the top 50 sites in the U.S. (in terms of unique visitors), and Pinterest made the list for the first time. It’s still growing. As it continues to attract more users, online retailers will continue to try and use it to their advantage and sell more items.

Have you been able to leverage Pinterest to increase your online sales? Have you ever bought something you found on Pinterest? Let us know in the comments.

We spoke with Matt Pine, VP of Marketing at Ubokia, a service, which lets shoppers post what they want and get matched up with people selling those items. “Think Craigslist in reverse, but now people looking for something don’t have to spend all day sitting behind a screen hitting the refresh button, you can post your ‘want’, and the item (seller) will find you,” explains Pine.

Ubokia specifically takes advantage of Pinterest to match buyers and sellers, so the company knows a bit about the e-commerce side of Pinterest.

“In general, I believe that Pinterest has the potential to provide the biggest evolution in ecommerce since Google launched AdWords,” Pine tells WebProNews. “Of course there are countless factors that will come into play. At it’s core though, Pinterest is the greatest ‘discovery’ engine we have ever seen. If Pinterest can develop a way to seamlessly integrate a module or process for users to actually acquire the items they discover then they can definitely become a powerhouse in the ecommerce world.”

Pinterest is already showing that it is interested in ecommerce. It already has a Gifts section, which lets you browse items by price.

“Well, Pinterest is all about pictures, so it starts with quality pictures,” says Pine, when asked about best practices for selling items through Pinterest. “Captions are underutilized on Pinterest, but are the key to showing up in Pinterest searches. Sellers need to make sure that their images link directly to a page where a person can purchase an item. For example, we have a number of jewelry sellers who list items for sale on Ubokia, then pin those items from Ubokia to Pinterest. That way an interested buyer can immediately communicate with the seller or make a purchase.”

“The difficult part of selling online is getting enough [of] the attention of enough potential buyers to convert sales,” he continues. “On Pinterest, this means that sellers need to build quality pin boards to build large followings and generate significant repins. The only way to really achieve this on Pinterest in through organic practices of pinning quality, original content. Unlike SEO, there is not really an effective way of artificially increasing one’s Pinterest following.”

“Additionally, sellers need to be proactive on Pinterest by reaching out to people who repin their content,” he adds. “All repiners and followers are potential customers and sellers need to reach out to them. Communicating on Pinterest is not that easy as the only real option is to leave comments on a user’s pin.”

Facebook is currently testing a feature that could compete directly with Pinterest, despite Facebook’s importance to Pinterest’s own growth. With the feature, retailers can provide users with the ability to “want” items, and create wishlists.

Facebook Collections

While Pine admits that he hasn’t had the chance to experiment with the feature, he says, “I believe that Facebook is on the right track for bringing social commerce into the Facebook fold with the ‘want’ concept, but giving a user the ability to state that they want something is only a small part of the equation in leading to successful transactions. Facebook will need to develop a platform that will allow sellers to find relevant buyers, then communicate with them.”

“Additionally, the platform will need a transaction module as well,” he adds. “Basically, we are talking about a complete ecommerce platform. How will Facebook handle ratings, fraud, spam, etc?”

“Building a marketplace is not something that can be built overnight from the ground up – even with Facebook’s resources,” Pine says. “Marketplaces are not built overnight. Additionally, Facebook users have historically been adverse to engaging in commerce on Facebook. So Facebook will have to develop a very well thought process for implementing commerce into the Facebook experience. In the end of the day, Facebook always has the potential to be a competitor because they are Facebook. Personally, I am really excited about this because it simply validates the ‘want’ model for commerce.”

We may soon have a better picture of the direction Facebook commerce is going in. Next month, the company will hold an event to talk more about its Gifts offering, launched in September.

Perhaps Pinterest will find a way to play into the feature.

As far as selling items via Pinterest, you’re more likely to find success in certain categories at this point.

“Jewelry, home decor, and fashion jump out as the big ones, but we are also seeing people use Pinterest and Ubokia in creative ways,” says Pine. “For example crafts are very popular on Pinterest, and we are seeing buyers who lack the creative ability, but desire to purchase the finished product posting wants from Pinterest.”

Pinterest has been expanding its categories as well, and I expect this will continue as its audience size grows.

It is worth noting that Pinterest has apparently been doing better than Facebook and Twitter, when it comes to average order value.

This week, Pinterest revealed that it is rolling out a new site verification feature. This will be important for users to establish trust, and is worth considering for ecommerce businesses.

Do you believe Pinterest will become an important tool for online businesses? Is it already? Share your thoughts.

  • http://blog.excellentpresence.com HM

    NICE one, Chris.

  • http://www.brickmarketing.com/full-service-seo Nick Stamoulis

    “Additionally, Facebook users have historically been adverse to engaging in commerce on Facebook. ”

    I think he makes a very good point about Facebook and commerce. Most people don’t come to Facebook to shop, even if they do manage much of their online lives from the site. When there are so many other great sites that are built around commerce it’s hard to convince users that Facebook is a better option if they don’t sit down with the idea that shopping is why they are there.

    • http://www.webpronews.com/author/chris-crum Chris Crum

      Facebook is looking to change that. It will be interesting to see if they can. I think we’re going to see a major push in that direction. You have to wonder Facebook’s quest for monetization will affect how people use the social network.

      • http://creatingawebstore.com/ Danny

        I would like to see Facebook succeed in building a marketplace but we have seen many large companies fail at this, Yahoo and Overstock are amongst them. Anyone that sells online, knows how hard it is to actually do it.

        As Nick said, people aren’t there to shop. Also, I don’t really believe that the problem lies in convincing people that Facebook is a better option, but rather in convincing people that it’s a safer one.

  • http://lock2lock.weebly.com/ locksmiths leicester

    This is very intresting will keep this in mind

  • http://my.xango.de/elizamar/ Elizabeth

    Pinterest has a world full of grouth potential in the commerce line, even now for an skilled internet marketer there are many ways to advertise your product and lead the potential klients to your sales site. I just hope that Pinterest does not get overrun by spamming like a lot of other sites I have deleted from my list. Pinterest is a fantastic, clean and interesting site and I realy like to spend time online there like I do on Fashionlista. Thank you guys!

  • http://www.enviroequipment.com Enviro Equipment Inc.

    Very interesting article but I can’t help but feel that Pinterest is simply the newest “flavor of the month” to Internet marketers. Remember how Groupon was supposed to be the greatest thing since sliced bread for brick-and-mortar businesses and revolutionize coupon clipping in general? Don’t hear about them too much these days, do you.

    Granted, I am an old fogey and thus resistant to new marketing methods but I just can’t help but feel that just because a lot of people like to look at pictures will somehow translate into Pinterest becoming the next great marketing tool for online businesses.

  • Chris

    So far, I’ve been unable to get pinterest to cooperate with me at all. I’ve tried several times to use it, to no avail. Can’t imagine what the problem is, but it simply will not let me in.

    If anyone has a suggestion, I’d love to hear it.


  • http://www.peppersprayetcstore.com Lawanna Bean

    I see Pinterest as a potential important player in social media. I began using it in the beginning, and I think it will take time to build a presence on Pinterest. In the beginning there was a lot of food and jewelry. Now I am seeing more boards that have substance. I am happy with Pinterest and think they have a great future in social media!

  • http://www.peppersprayetcstore.com Lawanna Bean

    Yes, I have purchased one item on Pinterest.

  • http://www.facebook.com/SocializedContent Aleshia Green


    I think the current results of pinterest are already proving that pinterest is definitely going to be important to businesses, but only as long as pinterest keeps growing and improving its features. Developing a tracking tool like Insights would be great for pinterest.

  • http://www.captaincyberzone.com Cap’n Cyberzone

    What’s Google’s interest in Pinterest?
    Since this is the second article on this subject lately I’m wondering why Google seems to be promoting Pinterest or searching for feedback on this site …
    Plans for Ginterest?!

  • http://www.africangamesafari.com Andrew

    About Pinterest learned from e-book published by HubSpot.
    Posted there in a short time gained more than 500 links.
    I did everything according to the recommendations, but so far Google can not see links from Pinterest.
    From my point of view, Pinterest is a waste of time.

  • http://www.spokanelawncompany.com Lawn Care

    I think Pinterest may be of some value to my business in the future but for now, I don’t see the benefits.

  • http://ephedrinewheretobuy.com Mike Budd

    I see the growing importance of Pinterest but honestly I don’t know how to start: if I got it right it is all about nice pictures that people repin, but how do you do when you don’t sell nice or original objects??
    I can’t imagine that people would be (p)interested in stock photos with no differentiation from other sellers…

  • http://scyaksesorismobil.com Noviandy

    facebook and printerest are in different segment. I agree with above comment, many people come to facebook just for sosialize not for shopping. It so annoying is FB users just keep advertise and annoying others timeline.

  • http://www.knightrealm.com Mick Lehr

    Craigslist has a “WANTED” section to post things you want in their “FOR SALE” section. But most people aren’t using it.

  • Brian

    Personally, while I enjoy viewing and pinning on Pinterest, anything at all to do with facegarbage I will forever avoid.
    Dislike and distrust Zuckerberg and his grab at every dollar through adverts. Boring as all hell, unsafe and intrusive, so hope he stays away from other than those he bombards already. Loathe intrusive push marketers, which force their way onto your eyes.
    I sure won’t go near anything facegarbage puts out so look forward to Pinterest enjoying more success without heaving adverts all over. If they ever go this route they would lose the viewers they currently have…there because there is no agressive marketing. Perhaps they should claim a membership fee as a revenue source as that would be entirely fair. Brian

  • http://Mabuzi.com kevin

    How do they make money?

  • http://www.aecdmovies.info Alec Dieperink

    I am new to Pins

  • http://ulasanmobil.wordpress.com panduan outomotive

    About Pinterest learned from e-book published by HubSpot.
    facebook and printerest are in different segment. I agree with above comment, many people come to facebook just for sosialize not for shopping.
    thank you..