Over the course of the past two plus years, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media sites have introduced ecommerce options that allow users to make purchases without ever leaving the platform. Adoption of these tools has been relatively slow – Business Insider reports they account for only 1% of sales – but Pinterest is positioning itself to radically change those numbers.
From Social Media to Social Commerce
In an important change, Pinterest’s leadership have made it clear that they don’t think of their site as a social media platform. Pinterest has been described as a planning and shopping tool, an idea curation portal, and most recently as a social commerce site. The introduction of Buyable Pins and Shop the Look functions reinforce Pinterest’s commitment to in-platform sales. Pinterest’s plans evidently focus on commerce, while it is to be expected that Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat will continue providing their user base with multiple types of experiences; Twitter continues to double down on its identity as a news portal.
Almost 75% of Pinterest users report buying something they’ve seen on the platform. 17% – that’s nearly one in five – visits to an ecommerce site that originate from a social media site begin on Pinterest. There are already a million businesses active on Pinterest, and that number is expected to grow as Pinterest’s user base continues to increase. Significantly more men are beginning to use Pinterest. Additionally, Pinterest is expanding its offerings internationally.
The National Retail Federation is projecting holiday sales of close to $800 billion this year. The majority of shoppers who plan to spend more than $750 have already started shopping. Many brands active on Pinterest have created boards to serve as Holiday Gift Guides: it’s a good strategy to familiarize yourself with the platform’s reach and versatility if you haven’t begun using it yet to promote your business.