Social media is playing an increasingly significant role in the world of retail.
Take London Fashion Week, for example. Once an invitation-only affair, it has now transformed into a global event which fashionistas can experience from their own bedrooms.
More importantly, it allows them to seamlessly follow what intrigues them from the show to the retailer’s website, and eventually to the checkout page.
Conversions are huge business in every field of retail, and social media holds the potential to dramatically boost a retailer’s numbers.
Someone who understands this better than most is Adele Cooper, UK & Ireland Country Manager at Pinterest, widely regarded as the most effective social traffic driver for retailers.
“The growth has been significant, at the moment we have 150 million monthly active users globally,” Cooper told the Retail Gazette.
“The UK market has grown by over 50 per cent in the last year. What makes the platform attractive for marketers and retailers in particular, is that people are on there planning and looking for inspiration, you can reach people at the very earliest stage of planning a purchase.
“You’ll get them when they’re initially looking for ideas. You can see them moving down through that process.
“People are generally looking in specific areas or interests, maybe a style they like, they’re then going on to purchase.”
“Pinterest is very much future planning. It’s the trip I am going to go on, it’s what I’m going to buy. It’s a very personal platform.”
Pinterest stands apart from other social media platforms in many ways. Its focus is on collecting ideas, much like mood boards, for helping people research and “design their life”.
It is precisely these differences that make it a useful tool for retailers to utilise, as users are actively searching for ideas on a purchase they want to make. It is down to retailers to present it to them
“The big different for Pinterest is, if you go on a platform like Facebook your updates are from friends and family,” Cooper explained.
“On Pinterest you’re actually using it to get content ideas and inspiration on projects or things you want to buy.
“Seventy-five per cent of the content on Pinterest comes from businesses and brands. There very very little user generated content on the platform. The consumer is on there with the mindset they want to buy or do something.
“The ads and branded content on the platform fit seamlessly into the rest, so it’s not intrusive.
“Another big difference is, if you take Facebook again your posts are more likely to be a dinner you had or things you have done.
“Twitter is very much the current tense, its what’s going on now. Pinterest is very much future planning. It’s the trip I am going to go on, it’s what I’m going to buy.
“It’s a very personal platform. When people go on social networks like Facebook or twitter, they’re sending out a message for people to see or hear.
“But when you’re on Pinterest you’re very much planning for yourself.”
This sense of personality is another key factor which sets Pinterest apart from its alternatives. Users can gain a better sense of the retailer’s personality than on other platforms where adverts are more intrusive.
To achieve this, Pinterest works closely alongside its retail partners to develop images and campaigns which are t