Social sites move to boost retail sales
Photo sharing social sites have become hugely popular over the past few years as consumers check out clothing and other products. The challenge for the sites and the retailers using them has been to figure out how to turn browsing into purchases. Now, it appears as though Pinterest and Instagram are ready to address the challenge with buy buttons.
The opportunity to use Pinterest to generate sales is supported by the findings of a new Millward Brown study. A Fortune article, which references the research, reports that 93 percent of active pinners say they use the site to plan purchases. Eighty-seven percent report having made a purchase because of Pinterest.
When Pinterest users see "buyable pins" on the site, they can now click and receive a list of attributes such as size, color and quantity, make a selection and click the buy button in order to complete the purchase. At this point, neither shoppers nor merchants will pay any fees, so it is not clear how Pinterest will make money.
The Instagram Buy button, similar to the one Facebook piloted last year, allows advertisers to include a button on their ads, which takes users out of the Instagram app to pages where they can complete shopping transactions.
The recognition of the growing importance of smartphone-enabled, instant shopping isn’t restricted to the online world. Ad Age reports that a U.K. company called Powa Technologies is rolling out its PowaTag, a QR code-like image that, when scanned with smartphone apps, places the item from the advertisement directly into a mobile shopping cart. Television and radio advertisements will also be able to make use of the technology by sending out audio signals that will interact with smartphones in the same way as the scanned tags.
Powa Technologies CEO Dan Wagner told Ad Age his company is currently working with 1,200 brands, which will begin running the PowaTags this summer.
- Pinterest Pins Buy Button – Fortune
- Facebook gives Instagram Buy button, app install ads, better targeting, API – Seeking Alpha
- Coming Soon: Instantly Shoppable Radio Outdoor and In-Store Ads – Ad Age (tiered sub.)
Do you expect to see a marked increase in shopping via social sites over the next several years as Pinterest, Instagram and others add buy buttons? How do you see the social media shopping experience differ from other forms of online shopping and what must retailers do to address that behavior?