Pinterest launches price drop notifications
By Steve Sherfy, GroupM Next, August 2013
Pinterest announced a new feature today that will send an email notification to users when a product they have pinned drops in price. This “price drop notification” is an enhancement to the product price pins the company rolled out in May, which associate prices with the products pinned on the site.
The new feature will roll out with very little customization options – users will either opt in or out in their settings menu. Additionally, Pinterest has stated it will attempt to group notifications into a single email to “keep your inbox clutter-free.” However, with the quantity of new features Pinterest has advanced this year alone, it is likely that advanced features such as mobile notifications, tracking specific pins or notification price-setting are on the horizon, especially considering the upcoming holiday shopping season.
This announcement signifies one more arrow in the quiver of what could become the most effective social network today. Only three years old, Pinterest is currently the fourth-most popular social site behind Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, but it hit the 10 million user mark faster than any other independent site in history and currently boasts over 70 million users. More importantly, it has managed to become what Google, Facebook, Twitter and others have long pursued: an effective merger of social and commerce. While brands have pursued likes on Facebook and followers on Twitter in their attempts to merge social and commerce, Pinterest users accomplished this feat themselves.
According to a recent study, 70 percent of brand engagement on Pinterest is generated by users. This means that a significant percentage of brand engagement on the site is driven by the organic behavior of pinning by users – without brands being the necessary starting point. Additionally, research from RichRelevance showed that Pinterest shoppers spend $60 to $100 more per checkout than their Facebook and Twitter counterparts.
The potential power Pinterest has should not be underestimated by brands. Pinterest is a platform where consumers are coming together – without brand prodding – specifically to share things of interest with others. It is the ultimate white picket fence. And share they do, as it’s been shown that more than 80 percent of all pins are repins. Since its launch in May, pins with price tags receive 36 percent more likes than those without.
With the heavy shopping season soon approaching, brands would be remiss if they did not do all they could to harness the potential – and reality – of this social phenomenon. Creating rich pins is a necessary step for brands to increase the usefulness of their Pinterest campaigns. However, to be truly successful, brands need to follow the rule of what has made Pinterest so successful: it is a social site, not a selling site. Provide consumers with helpful, useful and engaging pins, but never attempt to sell them. Brands who put focus on creating rich pins over selling products will find themselves the most successful.