Out of all the social networking platforms, Pinterest has the largest percentage of ecommerce users. From a total user base of more than 70 million, almost 80% of Pinterest users are women. Naturally, it comes as no surprise that women apparel and other related products are among the most successful product lines on Pinterest in terms of sales. Pinterest has also introduced a number of features to help ecommerce users, and, in my personal opinion, it might gradually evolve into a full fledge social ecommerce portal like Etsy.
However, while Pinterest itself facilitates ecommerce and product sales, you still need to have a well-defined strategy in order to find consistent and sustainable success in selling your products.
Here are 5 critical elements that should be a part of every Pinterest sales strategy.
1. Use a Pinterest Business Profile
As a Pinterest user, you have the option to create a personal/individual profile, or a business profile. There are many successful individuals who are selling directly from their personal Pinterest profiles, but a Pinterest business profile gives you added credibility and a number of additional features that are not available to individual users.
Additionally you can create a verified business profile as well, just by confirming your business website. Business profiles also get access to detailed Pinterest analytics that are vital for informed decision making.
2. Curate Intelligently
The difference between successful and unsuccessful sellers on Pinterest is the intelligence with which they curate images from other users. Pinterest is not just about creating and sharing your own original product images. Creating relevant boards, with images that address the key interests of your target audience, is also a critical part of a successful Pinterest sales strategy. The objective of content curation is to establish your Pinterest profile as the only source that users need to follow in order to receive high quality pins related to their interests.
You should however, keep your Pins and boards separate from the curated boards. The users should be clearly able to differentiate between your original pins and curated images. Also make sure that the images that you curate do not include product images meant for sales. If you do that, you’d be routing your customers to someone else.
3. Borrow From Your Competitor’s
Your influence on any social network is directly proportional to the number of followers you have. The same is the case on Pinterest as well. You need to have a sizeable following in order to regularly engage users and attract customers.
For new users, however, finding followers can be challenging. While you do need to stick to the basics by sharing high quality pins regularly and by using promotional techniques such as relevant hashtags, you also need to attract new followers from your competitors.
To do that, list down some of your competitors who are already doing well on Pinterest. Look for the ones who have attracted an engaged audience. Now analyze their pins and see if there’s any opportunity for you to become a part of their conversations. Do you see any unanswered customer comments, or any queries that have not been addressed, or any suggestions that have not been acknowledged? This is your opportunity to hop in and offer help. Also make sure that you regularly repin images from influential Pinterest users. All this will not only increase the awareness about your brand but also help you attract new followers.
4. Boost Engagement With Calls To Action
Adding relevant and timely calls to action with all your Pins is critical to the success of your Pinterest sales strategy. Without clear calls to action, your pins would fail to engage users. Studies suggest that Pins that have a clear call to action with them attract 80% more engagement. This is a key statistic because the level of engagement you manage to achieve on your page has a direct impact on your sales performance. Your call to action can be different forms. It can be a question, a contest, a simple link with text or an indication within the image. Whatever it is, it needs to engage users.
5. Simplify the Buying Process
As I said at the start, Pinterest is much more ecommerce friendly as compared to other social networks. However, it does not have payment collection options or Buy Now buttons yet. This is where many sellers make the mistake of simply sharing links of their sales landing pages with their product images. Such links usually lead users to a landing page where they are required to fill their billing information and then purchase the product. The whole process involves 2-3 redirections as well. This is where you can lose buyers.
The better strategy is to use a service that makes use of Rich Pins, another ecommerce friendly feature of Pinterest. Rich Pins make your Pins more attractive by allowing additional product information, including price, within you’re your Pins.
You can link it up with a payment service like Selz, which uses Rich Pins to link your buyers directly to a checkout page where they can make the payment without any redirections. With Selz, you can accept Master Card, Visa and PayPal payments. It also has a shopping cart that allows buyers to shop for multiple products in the same transaction.
In short, your focus should be on simplifying the overall buying process and making it convenient for buyers to make the purchase with minimum redirections and information requirements.
Pinterest is a great place to showcase different models and features of your products and attract buyers with high quality images. If you manage to create a vibrant and engaged following on Pinterest, and link it up a convenient buying process that doesn’t take long to complete, Pinterest can become one of your leading online sales channels.