Posted August 30, 2012 by Veronika Sonsev
inSparq, a social commerce technology provider, warns the dangers of reporting social commerce statistics based solely on one retailer. Zappos Labs recently reported disappointing social activity numbers on Pinterest, which should not be considered industry standard, inSparq suggests.
In a sampling of the 500+ retailers using inSparq’s sharing widget, the numbers stand in contrast to those reported by Zappos. Compared to Zappos’ 72 cents per share on Pinterest, inSparq found that the average value of a share on Pinterest was 92 cents (28% above Zappos’ findings).
But when you break the numbers down, you see an even starker contrast. A major cosmetics retailer using inSparq sees the value of each Pinterest share at $1.40, while a popular college clothing retailer sees an average of $5.09 in sales per Pinterest share.
The results vary drastically by retailer based on several factors. Pinterest shares increase dramatically based customer demographics, previous campaigns to increase sharing, general share-ability of photography onsite and the suggested sharing copy. Customers are more likely to re-pin beautiful, high resolution images. Also, suggested copy plays into the click-ability of the Pin.
This may be the reason why Zappos is seeing such poor returns on Pinterest – if images are not optimized for sharing they will perform with poor click through rates. Also, Zappos only includes the product name in their Pinterst sharing copy and not any suggestive copy (e.g., This is one of my favorite discoveries on Zappos: [insert product name]).
What is also interesting to note from the inSparq data is the most popular channel among customers was actually Email, which many retailers fail to include in their social sharing options. inSparq finds that not only does Email generate far more shares, but also more revenue than Pinterest, Facebook, or Twitter. On average, Email is driving $5.90 per share across the inSparq network. That’s due in large part because inSparq’s widget supports optimized email sharing, including an integrated address book that allows customers to find friends easily.
The major takeaway from these findings is that no two retailers are alike, and the revenue they generate from social sharing varies depend on a variety of different factors. Pinterest is not dead. Retailers can see great results on Pinterest by optimizing copy, creative and placement of their sharing buttons.
The post was written by Richard Hecker, Chairman of inSparq. He also invests through Traction+Scale, where he is Chief Catalyst.