An E-commerce Business Owner’s Guide To Pinterest

Pinterest for ecommerce successPinterest has really taken off in the past few years leaping from humble beginnings in its beta form in 2010, to over 25 million users in 2013. Not to mention, the demographics of Pinterest users sit comfortably on the side where users have a decent amount of disposable income – perfect if you’re running an ecommerce store and looking to grab new customers.

If you’ve been hiding in an underground bunker and don’t know what Pinterest is then here’s a very simple run down; Pinterest is a site that allows users to ‘pin’ images onto ‘boards’. These images all link through to the site from which they came from, allowing people to successfully share images they love as well as the location to find the relevant product or article (if it’s from a ‘How To’ for example). It’s essentially a scrapbooking site for the online world, you can collect the things you love and store them away for later viewing, or let other people flick through your virtual scrapbook to see if they can find inspiration or something they want.

At first, businesses didn’t tend to use Pinterest as a website of choice, as there was no obvious benefit, however once the amount of users and potential reach of ‘pinning’ really took off, it became apparent that Pinterest was perfect for ecommerce sites looking to attract relevant customers. No other sites offer the same format where the various images are linked through to their source. This is perfect for driving people to your website or product page through engaging and attractive images.

Tips for using Pinterest

If you’re already sold on Pinterest, or have made a start on harnessing its potential for your business, then you should keep in mind a few tips that will make sure you don’t look like you’re just there for a cheap advertising platform.

First and foremost, make sure your images are your own; the worst thing that could happen is you use someone else’s pretty picture, it spreads all across Pinterest and you get a nasty copyright infringement email. Take the time to get some nice images of your products or images that relate to your services made for yourself, using other peoples images not only violates the terms of the site, but it also waters down the value of linked images.

Keep in mind that just like any other Social Networking site, people choose to follow you or post you to their personal accounts, if they feel that you are constantly posting the same spammy images, then chances are you won’t get much of a return on your time invested.

Make sure that you don’t just use Pinterest to promote yourself –engage! By creating different boards you can also ‘repin’ other peoples images to your own boards. You may find that by regularly helping out other Ecommerce sites by repinning their images, they may do the same for you. Make sure, of course, that these are in no way competitors or you may be doing yourself an injustice!

Some say that Pinterest is only for visually appealing businesses. But, if you have what you’d consider to be a boring business, one that produces cement, plaster, or some other such industrial product, don’t ignore Pinterest. Take a look at how a boring business can benefit from Pinterest.

Pinterest has recently set up various tools for business owners to analyse how well they are doing on the site in terms of traffic and other important metrics using Pinterest Web Analytics. The easiest way to get to grips with Pinterest is to set up your own account and have a play around with it. Try setting up a personal account if you have no experience with it so you can get used to the formatting. It’s a very different site, but if you can manage to successfully learn the etiquette and techniques of the site, you can find that images linking directly to your site can drive the right traffic from all over the net. And remember targeted traffic = high conversion rates = more sales! Once you’re ready take a visit, and set your business Pinterest up!

About Katie Belliveau

Katie Belliveau is an avid writer and a true social media wizard. She recommends e-commerce businesses have a good grasp of social media and a decent website; to improve your website, she suggests looking at some of the software provided by Camo.