Like a young new designer who is the talk of the town, Pinterest is suddenly the name on everyone’s lips. The question is, how important is it to your business if you are in fashion ecommerce?

Firstly, who is this new kid on the block and what’s all the fuss about?

Well, Pinterest is a social network site set up in the US in March 2010. It is essentially an online pinboard. Users are able to collect images and content and share with friends, families, and likeminded people. Its profile is predominantly female and users are interested in subjects such as fashion, interior design and weddings.

Pinterest has been gaining prominence due to its impressive growth figures and whilst it’s not in the same league as Facebook and Twitter it has now been recognized as one of the top ten social networking sites.

OK, another social network site. What does it mean for fashion ecommerce?

By its very nature Pinterest plays to two key strengths of fashion ecommerce. It’s visual and it’s social. Users can “pin” images of anything that takes their fancy to their online board. They can then share those images with their friends and followers. So it’s highly relevant for sectors such as fashion with its beautiful photography and striking images where users collect great images of clothes they aspire to and look to share this with their friends.

How, exactly, does this translate into sales for a fashion ecommerce brand?

Establishing a presence on Pinterest could be a great way for fashion ecommerce retailers to showcase what they’re doing. Having a board, which spreads word of mouth as items are repined, helps retailers to find a place on what are, essentially, online wishlists. It seems highly likely that these online wishlists could translate into retail purchases – not only by the person who put together the pinboard but also by those who view and repin them.
Another benefit to brands in terms of their product offering is the amount of invaluable information they can learn from their followers in terms of personal interests and preferences.

OK, sounds good. It’s going on the to do list.

The advice would be not to delay. Some fashion brands are already on there such as ASOS and Missguided and as we saw with other social networking sites such as Facebook & Twitter if brands are not there at the start then it can feel like a corporate intrusion into a personal space. Brands need to find a role for themselves on Pinterest early on.

After all, in fashion ecommerce it really doesn’t pay to ignore the next big thing…

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