Is Pinterest Really All It's Cracked Up to Be?


This guest post is written by Peter Mayer Advertising Content Manager Catherine Freshley.

We wrote about Pinterest back in February (also known as the month everyone was writing about Pinterest), back when I was, very stereotypically, feverishly pinning ideas for my wedding, quinoa-cures-all recipes and images of lovely home interiors that are a far cry from the first-place-together, military-keeps-us-moving rental I live in.

But now, well, I can barely think of the last time I was on Pinterest. (That's relative: I was definitely on at some point in the last week and perhaps for a minute earlier today.) So I was wondering if I am the exception or the norm, and if all those people talking about Pinterest as the next big thing for e-commerce are looking enlightened or deluded.

Signs point to enlightened. Pinterest is emerging as a top traffic driver to e-commerce sites. And according to the CMO of One Kings Lane, a home furnishings site, when those pinners arrive at his site, they're three times more likely to purchase than visitors coming from elsewhere. What's more, according to Fast Company, sales that originate from a pin have an average order value of $179.36. That's 168 percent higher than the average order value coming from Twitter ($68.78) and 112 percent higher than the average order from Facebook ($80.22). This ain't just window shopping, folks.

As far as the people at Pinterest are concerned, this is just the beginning. In mid-August, Pinterest released apps for both Android and iPhone and took the site out of beta, removing the need for an invitation to sign up.

Late last month, e-commerce powerhouse Zappos introduced a Pinterest integration called PinPointing that makes shopping recommendations based on what the user has pinned. If someone is shopping for a gift, he or she can even plug in the recipient's Pinterest profile to get gift recommendations. All items are linked to their respective product page on

Of course, there is also the aim of using Pinterest to generate brand exposure and affinity. Many brands were quick to add Pinterest to their social landscape, but like Pinterest chatter in general, news about marketing via Pinterest seemed to die off after the spring. Just this month, however, Volvo launched a contest via Pinterest that sends the winner on a road trip. Though Volvo had only 155 followers on Pinterest when the campaign started, the company evidently sees significant opportunities in the social platform; Volvo has dedicated one of its three social media community managers to maintaining the brand's Pinterest profile, full-time.

The Volvo's social media manager said they will spend the next six to 12 months figuring Pinterest.

Have you figured it out? Do you think Pinterest is still the next big thing? Tell us on Facebook.

by Steve Hall    Nov-13-12   Click to Comment   
Topic: Social