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Home » News, Social Commerce, Social Commerce Spotlight

Social commerce spotlight: Retailers pin new hope on scrapbooking site Pinterest

Submitted by on February 24, 2012 – 11:09 amNo Comment

As f-commerce falls further and further from grace, online marketers had barely rested on their laurels before the new social phenomenon du jour swept the social landscape: Pinterest.

As our editor Bernhard Warner noted last week, we’re increasingly living our digital lives through appreciation of pictures and images, and sites like Tumblr, Instagram – and now Pinterest – provide instant visual gratification.

The difference with Pinterest, however, is that unlike images in Tumblr and Instagram where picture sources are buried beneath a myriad of shares, links and re-posts, pictures are instantly attributable to their original sources. Pin an image from any website and the click-through is already there.

The effect this site could have on the e-commerce landscape is huge. In our last column looking at social shopping, we noted that Forrester Research Analysts Sucharita Mulpuru said: “There was a lot of anticipation that Facebook would turn into a new destination, a store, a place where people would shop. But it was like trying to sell stuff to people while they’re hanging out with their friends at the bar.” With Pinterest, users are already at a store, their very own personalized dream store, and are scouring beautiful images of products they’re interested in: shoes, dresses, cakes, accessories – aspirational items they’d like to own. They’re window shopping, and a purchase is just an easy click-through away.

As Dan Olds, an Analyst from The Gabriel Consulting Group, tells ComputerWorld: “Pinterest could be the next wave of both social networking and e-commerce.

“One of the biggest drivers of the Internet is, not surprisingly, shopping and finding new and cool products to buy. Pinterest helps people do that, plus it lets them show others how they’re using items and how they’ve combined them in creative ways.”

Brands are already jumping on the bandwagon, with Gap (which closed its Facebook store) creating themed pinboards of its own. “I think for any company that has an e-commerce presence, they absolutely have to be paying attention to Pinterest,” Rachel Tipograph, The Gap’s Social Media Director told Adweek.

Such is the site’s buzz that similar start-ups are quickly emerging, too. At this stage Pinterest is used mainly by women (68 percent of its users are female, accounting for 85 percent of the site’s content), but fella-focused Pinterest-alike is quickly gaining traction.

And new stats from Shareaholic show that Pinterest is driving more traffic than Google+, LinkedIn and YouTube combined.

With this much positive noise, could Pinterest be a major playing in revolutionizing social shopping?

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