Retailers Are Right to Pass Over Facebook for Pinterest

Shopbop on Pinterest

Retailers are sold on Pinterest. The upcoming holiday shopping season should be the first year we see them try to maximize the social network’s purchase-inducing potential. (The site has 25 million users; last year at this time it had 2 million.)

There are a few reasons backing up retailers’ hope for the platform.  It’s not just that users are more likely to turn to Pinterest to keep up with trends — they’re also more inclined to share products there than on Facebook, and most important of all, they specifically favor Pinterest over other social media for finding inspiration on what to buy.

With those factors in mind, both the retail and editorial ends of the fashion spectrum are playing off Pinterest for sales.  Zappos launched a search tool, PinPointing, to make it easier to find products related to Pinterest pins (the item suggestions come from Zappos’ site, of course).  Lucky, meanwhile, introduced user-aggregated style content, the platform for which borrows heavily from Pinterest.

Of course, these initiatives that springboard off Pinterest all point to the general influence of the site, and not to how retailers will specifically use it this holiday season to drive sales.  We’re primed to believe there’ll be some interesting Pinterest initiatives coming from retailers, however — what’ll be even more relevant is to see what kind of numbers they deliver at the end of it all.