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How Pinterest is changing the mobile shopper

By
April 16, 2012

Pinterest

Pinterest is taking over the mobile and online space with brands and retailers such as eBay, Amazon and Sephora adding “Pin It” buttons to their product pages, thus encouraging mcommerce and ecommerce sales.

Although Pinterest’s main focus is on the Web, the company does have mobile offerings such as its mobile applications and mobile site. Marketers are seeing the sudden consumer interest of Pinterest and are increasingly looking at ways to engage consumers.

“Pinterest is a better mousetrap for those that like to socially share products,” said Chris Mason, cofounder/CEO of Branding Brand http://www.brandingbrand.com. “It puts items front-and-center for admiration and the creation of lookbooks.

“In some ways, using Facebook Like is too generic compared to Pinterest’s ability to solve this specific use-case,” he said. “We find that in mobile, there are many shoppers who are simply there to ‘window shop,’ and Pinterest does a good job of embracing that.”

Social interest
Pinterest is a social media site that lets users find and share pictures that inspire them from across the Web and pin them to digital boards that users can customize by category.

Many brands and retailers are using Pinterest to drive user engagement.

In addition to that, the site is a great conversation starter and lets users share things with others, therefore helping spread the word out more quickly.

Many companies such as Rebecca Minkoff, InStyle and Sephora have taken an interest in Pinterest.

For example, earlier this week, Sephora did a complete overhaul of its Web and online presence and created a more seamless experience for consumers.

In addition to its mobile efforts, Sephora is also branching out in the social media space.

The company has fully-integrated Pinterest.

There are now “Pin It” buttons on every product page that let users pin any of the 14,000 products from Sephora’s Web site.

Adding a tool such as this is a great way for consumers to share their favorite product with their friends.

Additionally, when consumers click on the button via their mobile device they can shop for the product right then and there.

In that manner, Pinterest is a great tool to change the mindset of a mobile shopper and change the way that retailers and brands market their products.

However, marketers need to make sure that they have a mobile-optimized presence.

For example, if a consumer taps on a Pin It button via their mobile device and the landing page is not optimized for their smartphone, they are less inclined to shop that product, especially if they have to go through obstacles such as pinching and zooming to see what the item actually is.

“The actual shopping is where it gets tricky. If an item’s original source or store is not mobilized, the experience can easily get lost when a shopper is referred over to that environment,” Mr. Mason said.

“The big question is whether the audience’s social sharing will eventually provide more traffic then brand messaging or search,” he said. “Currently, nobody can say for sure, but it is very clear that platforms need social integrations.”

No effect
Not everyone believes that Pinterest will change the way a mobile shopper shops.

“I do not think that Pinterest will change the mobile shopper, I do think that it adds a twist to it,” said Rick Singer, CEO of GreatApps.com.

“Its a great tool if someone is looking to share something,” he said. “Pinterest taps into the social end of mobile.

“It does open you to items that you may have not been familiar with, but it will change the way that we shop, it just may enhance it to a certain extent.”

According to Mr. Singer, many brands will use Pinterest if it will help them expand their reach and acquire more customers.

“Shopping for people is a necessity and a luxury, so if it can help you locate something, then it’s worth giving Pinterest a try,” Mr. Singer said. “Pinterest is an interesting concept, however, I can see how some brands may not think its necessary.

“The larger brands already have a core user base and spend a large amount of marketing campaigns on their own,” she said. “Certain people will view Pinterest as a gimmick or to an extend of ‘why does someone need to show that item on Pinterest?’

“We are seeing so many different social tools that come to market – some are good and useful, so take off and some just fade away. As the mobile space continues to grow, I think a certain standard of useful tools will fall into place –  that is until the next great thing comes.”

Final Take
Rimma Kats is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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