Retailers of all stripes continue to reap rewards from Pinterest. 70 percent of respondents to a BizRate Insights survey said they visit Pinterest to look for shopping inspiration. Better still, these visitors have money to spend: 30 percent of the surveyed users said their annual household incomes top $100,000. As Pinterest’s audience grows, these eager shoppers spend even more time bouncing between the social network and e-commerce websites.
At the start of the holiday shopping season, Shareaholic reported Pinterest as the fourth largest referral traffic driver to e-commerce websites. Factor out Google search results and direct website links, and Pinterest leaps into the number two position, just behind Facebook. Yet, other studies indicate that Pinterest users tend to load nearly twice as much into their virtual shopping carts as Facebook users.
Here at Curalate, we think that’s awesome. There’s no better holiday gift for online retailers than a steady stream of wealthy buyers, wallets open, ready to make purchases based on inspirational images and recommendations from trusted curators.
So why are you leaving money on the table?
The new world of visual product sharing has created a hidden problem for every retailer. It’s a problem that’s costing you, kind retailer, the affections of your fans. That means, as your CFO will probably warn you, it’s costing you revenue. Back in the day, a person might click a link and get delivered to a page that no longer exists—a 404 page. Companies have gone out of their way to ensure that you rarely encounter the 404 page, and if you do, that the situation is handled with a sense of humor.
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Your web designers may have told you that they’ve solved your 404 problem, but that’s not the whole story. The visual web has made “not found” errors costlier than ever. Your products are being saved to wish lists all over the web, compelling people to click through to learn more. But what happens when these eager consumers arrive at your site?
Almost 50% of the time, they get nada – an “empty shelf.”
Fully 85% of your brand’s presence on Pinterest can be explained by the products consumers—not you—save to their pinboards. Every time a Pinterest user shares one of your images, they’re creating opportunities for more people to discover your products and to drive targeted traffic to your website. Your products get hotter, and your entire brand can get huge in a fraction of the time it would take to execute a traditional marketing strategy.
But here’s the problem. All of that sharing, discovering, and clicking goes on long after your products have run out of stock or been removed from your site for good. The Curalate team spent time during the busy Black Friday shopping period reviewing a number of top retailers’ websites. We were shocked to find that 48% of their top 10 most popular products on Pinterest sent us to dead links. Considering that the average shopping cart size of a Pinterest visitor is nearly $170, disappointing a Pinterest visitor is a costly mistake!
What can you do about it?
Imagine a world in which a potential customer clicks on an outdated item, and still gets a delightful shopping experience. When you know exactly which of your images drives the most traffic to your shopping cart, you can make sold out items available for pre-order. Limited editions and niche items can lead shoppers to pages merchandised with collections curated based on their own popularity on social media networks.
Best of all, imagine the power of watching your most influential customers show you, in real time, which of your items require restocking. Forget disrupting your customers’ shopping experience with surveys, or attempting to read the tea leaves left by fickle focus groups. You have more power than ever to understand which of your products will fly off the shelves and which ones really need to be retired early.
We’re not talking about a far-flung future, either. Curalate can help you make these changes to your strategy today, so you don’t have to spend another season guessing about what’s going to be your biggest seller. Contact our team today to learn how we’re helping other top brands optimize their online storefronts based on real data from passionate customers.