Of all of our inventions for mass communication, pictures still speak the most universally understood language. – Walt Disney

overloaded with christmas giftsWomen shop more than men. There; I said it!

Although that statement may be a generalization, there are certainly stats to back up the claim. According to a Fox Business article, women account for 85% of all consumer purchases. Once thought to be a market segment that only bought items associated with fashion, home furnishings and children, nearly half of all online sales in traditionally male-dominated markets like cars, consumer electronics and computers are made now by women.

While women make up slightly less than half of internet users, they account for 61% of all online purchases and 58% of dollars spent online (men buy less often but tend to purchase higher ticket items). Because of that, smart online marketers are realizing that they need to start focusing on creating messages that appeal to women. That’s where Pinterest comes in …

80% of all Pinterest users are women and, according to bizrate insights, 70% of online consumers say that they use Pinterest as a place to get inspiration on what to buy (I never realized my wife needed inspiration; I always assumed the urge was innate!).

A recent report by TechCrunch points out that an average pin gets re-pinned more than ten times, results in 2 site visits and 6 page views. That may not sound like much but they have actually quantified the value of each pin, stating that each pin generates an average of 78 cents for a website. Sales from pins aren’t always immediate; half occur 3½ months after the initial pin occurred!

Keep in mind that those are numbers for “the average website.” A website that specializes in highly visual products does considerably better with Pinterest. Martha Stewart’s website gets ten times as much business from Pinterest than it does from Facebook, for instance.

Because of those numbers, Pinterest is quickly becoming THE number one social network for people who are marketing visual products. In an article posted this week, “How to drive holiday sales with Pinterest promotions,” Heidi Tobias Wong points out ways that you can use Pinterest to give your site a major boost during the holidays.

Although I agree that the methods outlined by Heidi will certainly help with holiday sales, I see no reason why the majority of them can’t be used throughout the year! My favorite methods discussed in Heidi’s article are:

  • Encourage visitors to build “wish list” boards – People create boards on their own Pinterest walls with things they would like to purchase (or have someone else purchase for them, wink, wink) someday.
  • Create “pin it to win it” contests – Offer a a free product to people who pin that product to their own Pinterest accounts and that pin gets a certain number of re-pins, comments or likes (I would go with re-pins here, myself).
  • Create a “pin it to give it” board – Here, you give away a product to charity for a certain number of re-pins. There’s nothing in it for the pinners, but they can feel good that they did something to help charity.

Along with the great information contained in the article, Heidi provides a link to a free eBook with even more ways to leverage the power of Pinterest. Definitely give Heidi’s article a read and pick up a copy of the eBook, too!

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Scott McKirahan

Scott McKirahan is a full time owner of several successful e commerce websites and has been involved in SEO since the late 1990's. He has been published on a variety of websites with articles ranging from politics to sports to Website Tips to SEO and is a member of several web related forums where he often goes by the names "Scooter," "Scotty Mack" or some variant of those names.

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