Pinterest Drives Shares, Not Sales, According to Amazon

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After a few quarters of almost unbelievably positive numbers, it looks like Pinterest’s reputation as a social shopping machine is starting to come back down to earth. All hypes eventually do…

According to Zappos Labs, all that stuff about Pinterest driving outrageous sales volume is no longer accurate.  In fact, they say that, while Pinterest users are far more likely to share content, that shared content drives significantly less revenue than shared content on Facebook and Twitter…

Bad news for this blogger, who recently published a bestselling Pinterest book on Kindle.

Initially at least, Pinterest was notable for its ability to actually drive sales. Actually, Pinterest was offered up as the example of how to monetize social media, a theory that was backed up with some pretty amazing numbers.

However, as Pinterest’s user-base exploded from January to June — and competing marketers took the social platform by storm — that revenue-driving power of Pinterest has been highly diluted.

It’s not an entirely bad thing… it just means that Pinterest is growing up. It was a traffic bonanza for a few months, but now the competition is much greater and the novelty has worn off. Honestly, we couldn’t really expect Pinterest to keep outpacing Facebook in terms of revenue-per-click forever.

Think about it like this: People don’t click on advertisements on Facebook very often (as FB data has shown). The same is true with Twitter. However, when they do click on something advertising or product related, they’re probably fairly qualified and interested — which translates to higher EPCs (Earnings Per Click). FYI, Twitter crushed FB and Pinterest in revenue per order…

But that data is somewhat skewed because of what Pinterest does. The thing that makes Pinterest so powerful is the fact that people view and share product photos all day, every day… which dilutes their EPCs and even their average order values, because the vast majority of users clicking through have no real buying intent.

People are doing research, sharing cool photos, etc.; they’re not necessarily in “buy mode.”

About Josh Loposer

Josh is the managing editor of Digital Marketer, as well an aspiring novelist. Find out more about what Josh is working on on Facebook, Google, or on his website.
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  • says:

    This article is worth a read for anyone interested in Pinterest for marketing and driving traffic

  • Peter says:

    Thanks, Rob for the insightful tips. Integrating all social media platforms probably gives the best results in the long run. Like anything else it requires work and dedication in order to bring sustainable growth.

  • elizabeth (bet) says:

    Thanks, Ryan. I’ll try to keep up with this stuff.

  • Rob says:

    The thing with Pinterest at the moment I’d say is the username. With limited characters available and still a growing user base – it’s worth going for the landgrab to make sure you’re business name keyword isn’t taken up later.

    Having missed the initial rush and my wife securing hers for business early on we decided to take the hike and go grab some keyword relevant names.

    I managed to swipe one that’s 4th down from the top with 7.5million global searches. Sure I’ll be competing with a gazzillion other pages on Google, but if you start to optimize the pins and boards with the keyword and link across, post awesome content relevant to it, get other people to link to it, with Pinterest as the Hosting account, the page is going to get some relevance. Any way time will tell – its still landgrab time.

  • Nirav Desai says:

    I agree with JR. Different social media channels have a different place in your strategy. Some are for increasing visibility, others are for building lists, others are for relationships, and others are for sales. This is not to say that they don’t overlap, because they do. The key is to understand your goals and the media channel’s ability to serve those goals.

    I think this post is good in that it highlights some of the advantages and disadvantages of Pinterest – at least at this stage of its evolution. Naturally, this will change over time as Pinterest and its users continue to define what it is best at.

  • JR Crayne says:

    I don’t drive sales with Pinterest, I use it to build my list. No sales, no hype, just good content to bring them into the fold and sell to them after the trust if built.