overstockArt.com Takes Art From the Wall to Pinterest
It all started last summer. Like so many other women, Stacy Sasson, the wife ofoverstockArt.com's CEO David Sasson, got hooked on Pinterest. So hooked, in fact, that she told the company about how amazing the new social media site is. Considering that Stacy represents the target demographic for overstockArt.com, and the fact that its products are perfect for such a visual social media site like Pinterest, the retailer realized this was an opportunity it couldn't pass up.
It's hard nowadays to avoid hearing about Pinterest. For those of you that have been living under a rock, here's what Pinterest is all about: Launched in 2010, Pinterest is an invite-only site featuring virtual corkboards where users "pin" photos of interest to the board, make comments and engage with others.
Pinterest isn't just engaging fans, however, it's gaining them. The site's unique visitors have increased 329 percent from September 2011 to December 2011. Total same-store referral traffic to five speciality apparel retailers rose 289 percent from July 2011 to December 2011. What's more, the average user spends 98 minutes per month on Pinterest and it's been deemed the fastest U.S. site of its kind to hit 10 million monthly unique visits.
"At first I was like, 'yea, yea, yea, another social media platform,' but then I heard more and more about it," says Amitai Sasson, vice president of marketing and development at overstockArt.com. "It's a great channel for us because we sell visual items. For some reason everyones’ wives are on Pinterest and that's our target market. So for us it's quickly become a great part of our social media mix."
Launched in Decemeber 2011, overstockArt.com's pinboards feature spring home decor trends, portraits, landscapes and everyday elegance, just to name a few. The company has also added a pinboard for Artist Become, its online platform for established artists to showcase and sell their work.
What helps drive traffic and hopefully translates into sales for overstockArt.com and Artist Become is that there are links on Pinterest to the respective websites that can be found directly under the pinned photos. For example, the company's Top 10 Oil Paintings in 2011 pinboard features its top-selling oil paintings for last year. Under the pinned photo of Vincent Van Gogh's "Starry Night," there's an overstockArt.com link that takes you directly to the painting's product page on overstockArt.com where users can order the reproduction painting with a few simple clicks. What's more, if a user repins that photo the link at the bottom will stay with the photo, making that pin visible to many more Pinterest users.
Also joining the social media mix is Pinterest's app on Facebook. The app automatically posts on users’ walls and news feeds what they've pinned. The retailer has also incorporated hashtags to the pinned photos to make the images searchable on Twitter. What's more, the "Pin It" button has been added to the product pages on overstockArt.com. The retailer is currently going through a site redesign, but once the redesign is complete the button will be added to the footer of the site as well.
While Pinterest isn't yet a top source of web traffic or driving tons of sales for overstockArt.com, Amitai Sasson feels that it absolutely has the potential to do so. "It's not generating sales as you would think, but it's still very early," he says. "It doesn't drive an obscene amount of traffic, but it's building all the time."
Traffic and sales on overstockArt.com might also see an uptick once Pinterest gets more mobile. overstockArt.com has been successful with its past mobile efforts, so once Pinterest better mobilizes the retailer should benefit. "That's how new the site is," says Amitai Sasson. "It still hasn't released a formal code for development that would be appropriate for pinning things on the iPhone. But the moment that there will be, we most certainly will add that sharing option to our mobile apps and in our mobile environment."
While Pinterest is all the rage lately, its full potential still remains unclear. "Social media sites have been popping up like mushrooms," Amitai Sasson notes. "We've seen a lot of Facebook Timeline apps similar to Pinterest that are up-and-coming. So it's still a question of if it will survive the test of time. Its ability to stay unique and offer something different will be tested. It's still not clear that when the dust settles if we're going to be talking about another Facebook or Twitter. My guess is no, but time will tell."