Graphic elements in design provide viewers a way to understand content. Many elements such as bold text, color, and composition help direct the eye to content throughout any medium. The Internet is no different in the need for these graphic elements to have an impact in the communication process. According to a Nielson report, users scan web pages instead of reading them, making the use of graphic elements a very important aspect for success online.
One platform that has based its service around the visual process is Pinterest. How is this impacting online social interaction? For marketers this platform has become a major player in social commerce efforts. A recent eMarketer report explains that Pinterest has taken the lead in social commerce over other social media platforms. “According to Shop.org, comScore and The Partnering Group, internet users followed more retailers on it [Pinterest] (9.3) than on Twitter (8.5) or Facebook (6.9) in March 2012”. The eMarketer report statistics also show that the weight of recommendations through Pintrest has more weight in the purchase decision than other social sites. “Close to half of US female Pinterest users had gone on to make a purchase based on recommendations received there, compared to around one-third of female users of Facebook or Twitter”.
What aspects of Pinterest contribute to this success rate? Visuals provide the ability to comprehend other’s personalities and align product recommendations to other user’s interests and style. The use of visuals not only shares a human aspect from consumer to consumer but also humanizes brands. Visual consistency and proper mechanics (linking back to product pages for easy shopping) creates brand engagement.
If Pinterest users are so influential, why aren’t more brands developing engagement on the site? Emarketer explains efforts are lagging because of the difficult in calculating revenue to Pinterest initiatives. “… a sale could occur months after viewing a pin and may ultimately take place offline. Even so, brands and retailers, particularly those specializing in home goods, apparel and accessories, have been reporting results that show promise for others”.
Creating visual consistency and having proper programing can become expensive. Are the un-attributed payouts worth the efforts? I would love to hear success stories and tips for marketers.