A few months ago, I was kicking around thoughts on the new social media darling known as Pinterest with a few folks during a seminar.  A bubbly young lady (let’s call her Tina) who was deep in the planning process for her wedding, lit up with enthusiasm.  She rattled off examples of how she used the site to discover items and put together wedding looks. When she finished telling the story, it felt like Pinterest had really played a monumental role helping transform her wedding into the “princess like event” she had envisioned as a child.

Driving Discovery & Creating Demand
What was interesting about the story above is that Tina seemed to be discovering and pulling most of her content for wedding planning directly from Pinterest.  She wasn’t dipping in and out of Google, getting guidance from her Facebook community or manually shifting between different wedding specific bookmarks. Her research was happening primarily inside of Pinterest.  Tina’s consideration set expanded widely and broadly as she mined Pinterest to source the perfect fairy tale wedding.

Product information gathering and research is evolving rapidly as virtual pinboard sites like Pinterest gain traction.  If people like what they see on Pinterest, they can move with 1 click to a manufacturer/retailer site to learn more.  According to some reports, Pinterest is currently driving more referral traffic than YouTube, Google+, and LinkedIn combined.  Niraj Shah, CEO of Wayfair, claims that customers coming to his site from Pinterest have a 70% larger spend than those coming from other social media sites.

Pinterest has grown to 10 million visitors faster than any other site in history and has defined the virtual pinboard space.  However, category specific Pinterest clones (e.g. StylePin & curisma) are quickly looking to steal market share.

Pinterest clearly has the potential to be a social commerce heavyweight in categories like fashion, food, wedding planning, etc., so we’ll be watching closely as the Pinterest fairy tale unfolds and valuations move into the Billions.

Photo credit:  Rochelle Lewis via Shelley Jane Ahrens